For decades, fillings, dental crowns, and dental bridges have been made from silver amalgam– a metal that contains mercury. Although mercury is a naturally-occurring element, it isn’t meant to go in our bodies. In fact, mercury exposure can lead to serious overall health problems. 

Because of this, Dr. Mina Levi uses only mercury-free materials and even removes silver amalgam fillings and restorations using a safe removal method. Continue reading to learn more about the effects of mercury, what materials we use in our San Francisco mercury-free dental practice, and the benefits of mercury-free dentistry. 

Side-Effects of Mercury Exposure

Being exposed to mercury for a prolonged period and having multiple metal fillings or restorations can lead to mercury poisoning. The most common side effects of mercury poisoning include: 

  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Numbness
  • Depression
  • Physical tremors
  • Skin rashes
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal distress

These are only a few symptoms of mercury poisoning. Children and adults may react differently to mercury exposure. To prevent these serious health issues from developing, we recommend removing any amalgam fillings or restorations as soon as possible. 

Safe Alternatives to Metal in Dentistry

Whether you need a filling, crown, or dental bridge, there are safe alternatives to silver amalgam. Two of the most popular include composite resin and porcelain. 

Composite resin can be used for small and large fillings. This material is effective and matches the color of natural teeth. 

Porcelain or ceramic crowns are also aesthetically pleasing because they match the color and translucency of natural teeth. Additionally, ceramic is just as strong as metal. 

5 Benefits of Mercury-Free Dentistry

When you choose a mercury-free dentist, you are investing in your overall wellness. Here are five benefits of mercury-free dentistry: 

  1. A safe environment for the dentist and patient. Because mercury is tasteless, odorless, and colorless, you can be exposed to it without ever noticing. When you visit a metal-free dentist’s office, you can rest assured that you aren’t absorbing any mercury into your bloodstream. 
  2. Creates a more natural smile. Amalgam fillings and crowns are very noticeable when you smile. Composite resin and porcelain look like your natural teeth, so no one will know you’ve had dental work done. 
  3. Better for the environment. Mercury can easily leak into the water system at a dentist’s office which then contaminates public water sources and pollutes the environment. 
  4. Better for pregnant women. It’s no secret that babies in the womb are affected by the things that the mother consumes. If she is exposed to mercury, the baby will be too. This can put the baby at risk of health problems and even death. 
  5. Lower risk of reaction to temperature changes. Metal fillings are known to expand and contract due to temperature changes. This can lead to cracks and fractures in your tooth. 

Safe Dental Care in San Francisco, CA

Looking for a mercury-free dentist in San Francisco? Call our office today at (415) 513-5066 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Levi.