Are Old Silver Fillings Safe?

There’s no controversy that has plagued the dental world more than the issue about the safety of dental amalgam. When studies from long ago established a relationship between thyroid problems, neurological disorders, respiratory diseases, and mercury in amalgam, people just went on panic mode. Since silver fillings were popular for preventing the spread of cavities due to their impressive durability, many grew greatly concerned that the restorative dentistry procedure they had was “killing” them.

Do people really need to be worried?

After all, fillings are so small.  “Are old silver fillings safe or are they making patients highly prone to everything from neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illnesses, to mental disorders?”

Here are the facts that everybody concerned about this issue should understand:


  • It’s true that amalgams are 50 percent mercury but they were always considered inert (chemically inactive) so the likelihood or mercury release was none to very minimal.
  • When it comes to mercury leaking from amalgams and producing a toxic effect on the body, different variables come into play (like the age of the fillings, one’s diet, the tendency to grind teeth, and number of fillings one has). It’s never just a matter of “having” silver fillings.
  • More studies are being carried out in order to fully establish the impact of mercury in silver fillings on people’s wellness. So far, findings have been inconclusive.
  • The current ADA and FDA position (because of all the inconclusive results) is that amalgam is a safe restorative material. Therefore, any dentist who recommends removing amalgams due to health concerns from mercury vapor is deemed unethical and could have their license revoked.
  • If you’re concerned about mercury release from your old dental fillings, a lot of dental professionals have advanced detection techniques that can measure mercury release. Hence, they can establish if your health is truly at risk.
  • The highest amount of mercury exposure from silver fillings occurs when they are placed and when they are removed from our mouths. So, if you’re worried about exposure, the smartest thing to do is to have a highly experienced dental team inspect your fillings to see if they’re still structurally intact, instead of just rushing to have them taken out.

It’s only natural to look after your health. Whether you want to have your old silver fillings removed just to be safe or not is completely up to you. Now, if you need to have some cavities filled, there are other filling options to choose from and you won’t have to worry about mercury exposure.

If you want to have your silver filling examined by a highly experienced dentist in Burtonsville MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, our head dentist can take care of that. Contact us today to set your appointment!

Flossing Tips from Your Burtonsville Dentist

Flossing Tips from Your Burtonsville Dentist-51437Flossing Tips from Your Burtonsville Dentist

Despite the reports that came out last year saying that flossing is no longer important, the Department of Health and Human Services, and experts like Dr. Aaron Nicholas, a Burtonsville dentist, all agree that flossing still remains an important part of good oral hygiene. Here are a few flossing tips that might help.

How often should you floss your teeth?

Ideally, you should floss your teeth at least once a day. This will allow you to remove plaque and food debris stuck in between the teeth that brushing alone cannot remove. When plaque is left on your teeth, it can harden into tartar. Additionally, regular flossing can help keep other dental problems like cavities and gum disease at bay.

What’s the best tool to use for flossing?

That will depend heavily on your own preference. Sometimes, all you have to do is to change the type of dental floss you use. For example, you might want to switch to a waxed, unwaxed, comfort or thick floss to make flossing easier for you.

If you do not want to use a dental floss, there are other options that your dentist can recommend. These include wooden plaque removers, water flossers, dental picks, and pre-threaded dental flossers.

When should you floss your teeth? Before or after brushing your teeth?

Some people prefer to floss their teeth after brushing their teeth while others prefer to floss before brushing their teeth. Which is better?

Neither. The important thing is that you floss your teeth in order to remove plaque and the debris trapped between your teeth. Like any other habit, consistency is key. If you have not been flossing your teeth regularly, you can build that habit by picking a time that you know you can consistently practice flossing. It does not matter if you floss early in the day or before retiring to bed. What is important is that you floss your teeth.

At what age should my child start flossing his teeth?

The simplest answer is when he has two teeth touching each other. At the onset, parents may need to assist their children in this task because it requires a high degree of manual dexterity. But around the age of 10 or 11, your child should be able to floss his teeth on his own without your assistance.

If you are currently looking for a dentist in Burtonsville, MD, Dr. Aaron Nicholas and our staff would love to hear from you. Contact us today.

What Causes Throbbing Tooth Pain? | Nicholas Dental Care

Throbbing Tooth PainCauses of Throbbing Tooth Pain

Throbbing tooth pain is a sign that the affected tooth is inflamed and that there is excess blood flow. There are several factors that can cause this type of toothache.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is one of the leading causes of this type of toothache. Tooth decay occurs when the tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of teeth, is destroyed by cavities.

If you leave your tooth cavities unchecked, you may experience pain and sensitivity on the affected tooth. And as the cavity grows, it can cause nerve damage which makes chewing, biting, or drinking hot or cold drinks painful, and even cause swelling in the face and gums.

Tooth fracture

When a tooth breaks or cracks as a result of an accident or trauma, it can leave you in pain if you do not seek immediate dental attention. Your dentist will recommend a few treatment options, depending on the severity of your tooth fracture.

Abscessed tooth

An infection of the tooth’s root or between a tooth and the gum can result in an abscessed tooth. Abscessed teeth can result in severe tooth decay, gingivitis or broken teeth. Apart from the throbbing pain, an abscessed tooth can also lead to symptoms like fever, teeth sensitivity, swelling and/or redness of the gums, swelling of the jaws and bad breath.

Gum infection

Throbbing tooth pain may also come as a result of gingivitis, especially in the advanced stages. During the early stages of gingivitis, good oral hygiene can help reverse the disease. However, if the disease has progressed to an advanced stage, it is imperative to treat the infected gums first.

Damaged fillings

If the fillings on your teeth have become worn out, chipped, cracked or even lost, you may experience throbbing pain. In most cases, none of these are considered dental emergencies. However, if you fail to seek immediate help from your dentist, it is highly likely that you will experience pain.


Some people unconsciously grind or clench their teeth while exercising. Now, if you have a bite problem, clenching creates excess pressure on some of your teeth, which can lead to throbbing pain.

If you have irreversible pulpitis, you may experience throbbing pain while exercising or while changing your posture.

Sinus problems

People with sinus problems often experience throbbing pain in the upper teeth. This happens due to the proximity between the sinuses and the roots of the upper teeth. If your dentist cannot pinpoint the exact cause of the throbbing pain you are experiencing, you may want to consult a doctor.