Amalgam fillings – fact versus fiction

amalgam filling at Jannali Dental Care

Replacing mercury fillings with white fillings

Can you believe that those silver-coloured fillings called ‘amalgam’ have been around since 1812?   Yes, they were created by a British chemist more than 200 years ago!

Amalgam is a very specific mixture of metals.  It consists of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin, and copper. They bind together to form a putty, which quickly sets. After being positioned in the tooth hole, it sets to form a strong filling.

These days, many clients request to have their old silver amalgam fillings replaced with white fillings, mainly for aesthetic reasons but sometimes for a perceived health risk.

Is there a safety issue with amalgam fillings?

No, there is no safety issue.

The issue that concerns many people is the health risk of leaking mercury from the silver fillings. However, the mercury of the amalgam is bound together to the tin and copper, so once it’s set, there’s no liquid mercury present anymore.

At Jannali Dental Care we see hundreds of amalgam fillings every day.  Many of them have been in mouths for 10 or 20 years.

Rest assured, amalgam doesn’t pose a health risk. It’s safe for adults, as well as children who are six and over. The Australian Dental Association continues to support the use of amalgam fillings. However, they suggest minimising their use in pregnant or breastfeeding women, by children under 6, and by people with kidney disease.

Rest assured the weight of evidence doesn’t establish any association between amalgam and any adverse health effects.

If the old fillings are in good condition with no decay beneath them, we do not generally recommend their removal.

Dental aesthetics

There are a number of reasons why amalgam fillings are not used anymore.

White fillings are definitely more aesthetically appealing. It’s not very attractive to have silver fillings in your teeth, particularly if they show when you smile.

With advancements in technology, these days dentists have more aesthetic materials on offer.  Composite resin and porcelain last just as long as amalgam if done properly.

If a client wishes to replace the old silver filling for aesthetic reasons then we are very happy to do so.

Filling Break Down

Sometimes the old silver fillings start to break down as they come to the end of their longevity. This simply means that the interface between the filling and the tooth is starting to separate. If there are gaps occurring, this allows bacteria to get into that space and create a potential cavity.

So please don’t panic, it’s not the mercury that’s leaking — it’s just the fillings breaking down.

The best filling is no filling at all

There’s no real urgency in getting the old amalgam’s filling replaced unless the silver filling is not doing the job it was designed to do.

Most importantly, rest assured that you’re not going to be poisoned by the old filling.

So the take-home message here is that the best filling is no filling at all!  Just remember daily brushing, flossing and practice good oral hygiene!

If you have any concerns about your fillings, or any oral health issue,  please give us a call on 9528 9204 or drop us an email info@jannalidentalcare.com.au

Talking to us is always the best option. Your teeth are important and we want to help you keep your mouth in the best possible shape. 

Understanding gum disease. What to look for and how to treat it.

treating gum disease at Jannali Dental Care

You would not live with a chronic eye or ear infection, would you?

Yet 45% of the population over 65 years live with a chronic infection known as gum disease, or periodontitis.

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and the infection can actually spread throughout the body. Research shows that gum disease is associate with heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and even pre-term delivery in pregnancy.

From these studies, it has been shown that men with gum disease are 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers. Very good reasons to take care of your gums.

Most people don’t realise they have this disease – but it is a serious, and very treatable, infection.

The good news is that gum disease can be treated!

For years it was thought that the bacteria linked to gum disease was linked to other disease in the body. Current research now shows that in fact it’s inflammation which is responsible for the link. Therefore treating gum disease and the inflammation will not only help manage periodontal diseases, but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Gum disease is often silent. That means that the symptoms may not actually appear until the disease has advanced to a more severe stage.

What are the warning signs?

 

Red, swollen, or tender gums – or other pain in your mouth
Bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard food (don’t panic, some bleeding while flossing is ok)
Pus between your gums and teeth
Sores in your mouth
Gums that are receding or pulling away from your teeth
Loose or separating teeth
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
A change to the way your teeth fit together in your mouth.

What is the treatment?

 

The treatment for gum disease depends on the severity.

For starters, coming to see us at Jannali Dental Care and having a full checkup with one of our dentists, is a great way to assess your gum health.

You can get your gums healthy again. If you have mild to moderate disease, it can be treated simply with regular brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and regular check-ups with us including frequent dental cleanings. It may also help to review your diet and lifestyle choices. Quitting smoking would also go along way towards healthier gums.

With more severe cases, specific treatment is required. The treatment can vary from sub gingival cleaning to referral for treatment by a periodontist for severe infections.

If gum disease is not caught soon enough, sometimes it is necessary to replace natural teeth with implants, restorations, bridges, or even dentures.

Remember, gum disease IS preventable. But let’s make sure we catch it early.

If you have any concerns about your gums, or any oral health issue, please give us a call on 9528 9204 or drop us an email info@jannalidentalcare.com.au

Talking to us is always the best option. Your teeth are important so let us help you keep them ship-shape. ❤️

Our 2020 commitment to our patients

our new 2020 resolutions at jannali dental care

At the beginning of a new year, many of us set goals to have a healthier lifestyle.  We’ve all heard it……more yoga, less wine, more flossing, less Facebook etc etc etc.

At Jannali Dental Care we thought we’d mix things up a little and make some of our own resolutions for the new decade.

We spent some time brainstorming over a cuppa, and our 2020 resolutions are all about how our practice can best support YOU – our valued patients.

Here is our top 10 list – And PLEASE let us know if you think there is anything else we should add to make your dental experience an even better one.


At Jannali Dental Care we resolve to:

 

  • Always meet you with a friendly hello and a warm smile whenever you walk through our door;
  • Respect your schedule. We ensure that your appointment starts when scheduled and ends when you expect it to;
  • Respect your concerns. We know dentistry makes some people anxious. We do our best to make your visits as comfortable as possible;
  • Respond to you in a timely way, and in a way that answers any issues you have;
  • Give maximum value, giving top-notch dental services at competitive prices;
  • Stay up-to-date on current dental knowledge and techniques through ongoing education and training, and the latest technology;
  • Follow the industry-standard, or above, to provide a hygienic environment for your dental care;
  • Honestly analyse your need for treatment, and discuss viable alternatives, before making recommendations;
  • Give you a full understanding of your treatment, including accurate information on the cost.
  • Treat everyone fairly and equally, regardless of age, race, religion, creed, ethnicity, socio-economic background, or current health;
  • Continue our involvement with the local Jannali community.  We think ‘giving back’ is VERY important so expect to see us out there in 2020 and beyond.


And here’s what you can do:

 

Of course, now it’s your turn.  We have a few suggested 2020 resolutions for you!

  • Brush and floss regularly. But you already knew this, right? Oh, and that rumour about flossing extending your life, it’s true.  So, go on, floss like a boss.
  • Buy new toothbrushes four times a year. Toothbrushes have a lifespan of about three months. Making a swap at the new year will help keep your teeth clean for the next three months, and by Easter, it will be time to get another one.
  • Check-in with us. Hmmmm, if we had a dollar for every patient who said ‘I wish I’d come in earlier’, we’d be buying our own private island in the Caribbean right now.       Regular check-ups and cleans are a vital party of maintaining your dental health, and they are a resolution you can keep. Schedule your regular dental check-ups for the year, and you will be set to go!  And if you are nervous about coming to see us, remember we have twilight dentistry options (and Netflix).
  • Eat and drink properly. Avoid sugars, carbohydrates, and acids to make your dental health resolution successful. Drinking water with your snack, and rinsing after eating, make it more difficult for food to stick to your teeth.  Drink more water.  And don’t touch fizzy drinks – there are simply no winners there.
  • Quit smoking.  Say no more.
  • Reduce alcohol and coffee intake. There are multiple ways alcohol can harm your teeth. Alcohol is empty calories with high amounts of sugar to cause decay, and coffee and red wine stain your teeth.
  • Smile. We saved the easiest and quickest 2020 resolution for last. Did you know that even if you fake a smile it releases chemicals that will trick your brain and actually make you feel better TRUE.

You will be surprised how these simple tips will make a difference to your teeth, your gums and your overall general health.

And remember, even if you are ‘best friends’ with your toothbrush it’s really important to keep up with regular professional cleans and check-ups.  Nothing cleans your teeth like we do!

At Jannali Dental Care we want our practice to feel like family – so give us a call on 9528 9204 or contact us right here for an appointment. We promise we will always take good care of you and your smile.