Tooth decay and cavities have been a dental problem for as long as humans have been eating, and we’ve been trying to come up with the perfect solution to those cavities for almost as long. Today, Framingham Family Dental Care provides patients with fillings that are made of composite resin materials that are both mercury-free and BPA-free. This filling material comes close to the perfection of natural tooth structure and offers numerous advantages over previous types of filling materials.
In Pakistan, archaeologists found 7,500 to 9,000-year-old human molars with some type of fillings. A filling made of beeswax dating back some 6,500 years was discovered in a cave near Trieste, Italy. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that dentists began to use metal to fill cavities. Gold, silver or tin was softened and put into a tooth. Amalgam fillings of tin, silver, mercury, and copper came into use later during that century.
Shortly thereafter, controversy arose over the use of mercury in dental fillings. Mercury is a heavy metal and a known toxin. Moreover, mercury can become a vapor in your mouth and thus be inhaled into the body. Although the evidence is not conclusive, there is some concern that mercury may have a relationship to serious illnesses such as depression, cancer, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s.
In response to this concern and in an effort to improve the performance of amalgam fillings, dentists began using composite resin materials to repair cavities. Composite resin is essentially a medical grade plastic that fills a cavity, bonds with existing tooth structure and provides a tooth-colored alternative to that otherwise dark filling that had been used to repair tooth decay. However, composite resin is also not without its concerns.
At Framingham Family Dental, we make sure the filling material that we use to fill cavities for you and your family is both mercury-free and BPA-free. BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a chemical that has been used to harden plastics for more than 40 years. BPA made headlines in 2008 when possible health risks were reported. Although nothing has been confirmed by the FDA or any other health organization, our dentists feel better knowing that the composite resin material they use is BPA-free. Everything we use in or on your teeth is safe and biocompatible. After all, as your family dentist, we are not only concerned about your oral health, but your overall health as well. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!