Dentists have utilized metal in their practices for centuries, and even 25 years ago it was still a common practice. However, in the past couple decades, research has pointed to the damaging effects of this practice. Mercury and the other metals used in dentistry can have grave effects on health. Such materials have high toxicity and can therefore cause oxidative stress as well as nephrotoxicity. The use of these metals in dentistry has been widely discussed and debated.
Metal fillings can be highly damaging, for several reasons. The metal can be greatly affected by temperature changes, which can lead to weakening of the tooth. This can in turn cause bacterial and infection and decay. Additionally, chipping and fractures can often occur during the placement of such fillings because they require the removal of substantial amounts of natural tooth structure.
Metal-free dentistry has many significant advantages, and metal dentistry is quickly disappearing as an accepted practice. Composite fillings, the alternative to metal fillings, are made of resin, which is either glass- or plastic-based. These resin fillings are more attractive because they resemble natural teeth, and they are also safe and healthy.
Composite fillings are very strong compared to their metal counterparts. They are more successful in repairing teeth because the resin acts as a glue to keep the tooth structure together. Filling placement therefore requires much less natural tooth removal. These fillings are also less expensive and time consuming to put in place. They also don’t cause gum disease or tooth discoloration.
Zirconia crowns are a also a metal-free dentistry development. They are made from zirconium, making them sturdy and long-lasting. They are aesthetically pleasing because they look like natural teeth, and they also don’t necessitate the removal of excessive healthy tooth structure in order to be put in place. They are modifiable and biocompatible, as well as much stronger than porcelain crowns, which can chip easily.
Metal-free dentistry is also very dynamic. Composite fillings can help in other capacities such as repairing teeth chipping, breaking, and wear and tear. They help keep the tooth together, are visually pleasing, and don’t have toxic or health damaging effects.