If you have suffered from a dental cavity ever, you probably know how badly it hurts. Dental sealants and dental fillings are methods to prevent and treat dental cavities. Let’s learn more about these two ways of restorative treatment.
What Is the Difference Between Dental Sealants & Fillings?
There is a significant difference between dental sealants and fillings. Dental fillings are applied to repair a tooth after it starts decaying, whereas dental sealants are used to prevent tooth decays. Dental fillings help to fill in the holes caused by tooth decays and restore the tooth to its normal function, shape, and appearance. Dental sealants are a tooth-colored plastic film that is applied professionally to seal the natural cracks and pits in the molars where tooth decay occurs the most.
Do Sealants Help Prevent Cavities?
Sealants help prevent cavities if applied correctly by a professional dentist. They are a painless, quick, and easy way to avoid most of the cavities which develop in the permanent molar teeth. They are 80% effective against cavities for two years and 50% for up to four years. Since sealants provide preventive care, they should be applied to individuals above the age of 13 years when all their permanent teeth have fully grown in.
How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?
Sealants can typically last up to ten years. However, they need to be inspected during your routine dental check-ups to make sure they haven’t worn out or chipped. Your dentist can repair sealants if necessary, by applying more sealant material.
Are Mercury Amalgam Fillings Safe?
One of the most common types of material used for dental filling is mercury amalgams. Amalgams consist of a mixture of metals such as mercury, silver, copper, and tin. Traces of indium, zinc, or palladium may also be present. Some people choose mercury amalgam fillings because they are an inexpensive and long-lasting solution for dental cavities.
However, mercury is not considered as a safe material for dental fillings according to biocompatible or biological dentistry practices. This is because our body can absorb mercury from amalgam fillings through the insides of cheeks and tongue. Once absorbed, it can not only destroy adjacent tissues but also get deposited into your bloodstream. If tests reveal that your body has a high level of mercury toxicity, it is advisable to have your mercury dental amalgam fillings removed safely.
Contact us to learn more about dental sealants and fillings, or to book an appointment for safe mercury filling removal. Our mercury safe dentist has extensive knowledge and training to make your dental visits as mercury-safe as possible