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!

Do Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

Dental SealantsDo Dental Sealants Prevent Cavities?

Dental Sealants are a thin resin coating typically painted on teeth that may be susceptible to cavities. This procedure is often used with children or teens but can also be useful for adults. They are designed to coat the teeth that may be more difficult to clean like molars.

Good oral hygiene practices such as brushing 30 minutes after having your meals, flossing properly, and using fluoride toothpaste, are excellent preventative care choices. However sometimes, life makes it difficult for you to stay consistent with proper daily oral care. Dental sealants can help with this problem especially in young children. Children don’t always know how to brush really well can benefit the most from dental sealants.

The real question here is not “Do dental sealants prevent cavities?”

According to a Laurel, MD dentist, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, dental sealants were developed precisely for the purpose of preventing cavities, and they are quite effective. When dental sealants are applied by an experienced dentist, the sealant will fill in all the pits and fissures of teeth where food normally gets stuck and leaves cavity-causing bacteria. Without that contact with food or sugar, your teeth will not be at risk for cavities.

How Long do Sealants Last?

Dental sealants last about six years, so your teeth are reasonably protected for that amount of time. You can request a reapplication if you’re happy that your teeth were properly preserved by the sealants. This only makes sense, because why would you compromise teeth that you properly preserved for six years? Your commitment should be to keep your teeth strong and healthy through the years, right?

And also, why wouldn’t you? It’s a pain-free process, and for the pretty affordable cost of covering a few vulnerable teeth (dental sealant per tooth costs just between $25 and $50), you can avoid costlier fillings and restorative procedures.

Now, if you’re concerned about the BPA in the plastic resin used for dental sealants, keep this in mind: It may be present, but not in an amount that is truly harmful to your health. This is usually the only thing that holds people back from getting dental sealants. The American Dental Association does not have any problem with this cavity preventative measure and nobody has been reported to have gotten seriously ill because of dental sealants, so do take these into account.

It’s completely up to you if you wish to use this method or not. One thing’s for certain about them: They truly are reliably effective in preventing cavities.To learn more, call the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care today!


Cavity Prevention Tips

Cavity Prevention TipsCavity Prevention Tips | How To Avoid Cavities

The most concerning oral health problem people deal with is a toothache. When you get a toothache, it’s simply impossible to function. There’s just no ignoring that throbbing pain that makes you want to pull your teeth out, which is what may actually need to be done by a dentist if the cause of your toothache is a damaged or completely decayed tooth or teeth.

To avoid toothaches, the solution is simple: Make sure you don’t get cavities or tooth decay. And to prevent cavities from developing, it’s all about smart oral care. So here are some cavity prevention tips to include in your oral care routine:

Brush your teeth properly and regularly.

This is really the most basic thing that you can do to prevent the development of cavities. However, people don’t really know how to go about this simple activity for oral care correctly. Dentists advise brushing after every meal and using a soft bristle toothbrush to protect the teeth’s enamel from scratches that can actually lead to the formation of cavities. Also, brush gently for about two to three minutes, dedicating about 30 seconds for the six sections of your set of teeth.


Always use fluoride toothpaste or rinse with a mouthwash that contains fluoride.

Fluoride toothpaste will strengthen the enamel and make it less prone to damage.


Floss well.

Flossing is able to target those little spaces between teeth where small bits of food get stuck. It’s hard to reach these areas with a toothbrush and only flossing can dislodge stuck food between teeth. There is a proper way to floss, though, to fully get rid of build-up: You don’t just move the floss up and down, move the floss sideways as well to target the base of the teeth where plaque usually form. Be careful not to cut your gums when you’re working the floss through those tiny spaces.


Avoid eating sweets.

Sugar acids from sweets corrode the tooth’s enamel. Reducing your consumption of candies and other really sweet foods will help prevent cavities from forming. But if you do consume sweets, do not brush your teeth right after eating. Drink water and wait about half an hour because immediate brushing and the presence of sugar acids in the mouth can actually weaken teeth and make it prone to cavities.


Drink more water.

Water will wash away food debris, hydrate and help restore the healthy pH level of the mouth, which is essential in preventing cavities.


Visit your dentist regularly.

Don’t miss appointments and have your teeth cleaned thoroughly by a Burtonsville dentist. Also, by visiting your dentist, you’ll have a better understanding of your teeth’s condition and what you should be doing to protect it better and prevent tooth decay.

There you go, the most basic cavity prevention tips; they’re so easy, there shouldn’t be any issue in applying them to your oral care routine.


Cavity Prevention | How To Stay A Step Ahead

cavity preventionCavity Prevention |  Leading Causes of Cavities

From your earliest years, and up to this day, dentists have been tirelessly educating and reminding their patients and the general public about the importance of keeping teeth healthy. Neglect them, and you will soon discover cavities in your mouth that will have to be treated to restore the full function and appearance of your teeth as well as prevent further damage.

What are these cavities? Cavity is another term for tooth decay. It is the result of the bacteria in your mouth creating an acid that eats away at your teeth. You may not notice it at first, but the damage begins with the acid wearing down the enamel on your teeth and working its way down to the succeeding layers until it ends up in the pulp, where nerves and blood vessels can be found.

Left untreated, cavities can lead to pain, infection, and even the loss of the affected tooth. Here are a few tips for cavity prevention: 


Staying one step ahead of cavities

Of course, the best cavity prevention is to learn the leading causes of cavities and to take preventative measures so you can maintain a healthy mouth and teeth. To help you in this regard, a trusted dentist in Silver Spring, Maryland shares five of these causes so you can become more aware and actively invested in fighting cavities.


  1. Failing to observe proper oral care habits.

It may be tiresome to hear, but dentists insist on emphasizing the importance of brushing teeth after every meal, flossing, and regularly using mouthwash because these habits indeed keep the cavities away when properly observed. At the very least, brush twice a day for about two minutes every time.


  1. Consuming food and beverages that are damaging to teeth.

Getting the proper nutrition is crucial in maintaining dental health. However, knowing what to avoid consuming is just as important as eating the right foods. Sugar and acid are two of teeth’s worst enemies and these can be found in candies, processed foods, fruit juices, and sodas, to name a few.


  1. Having existing dental problems.

If you are already experiencing some dental issues, leaving them unresolved can contribute to the development of cavities. For example, cracks and crevices in the enamel provide entry for harmful bacteria which can lead to decay. Similarly, if you have a dry mouth (often caused by genetics, prescription medication or certain medical conditions), bacteria can proliferate because you have limited amounts of saliva that can inhibit their growth. Addressing these dental issues first can do much to keep cavities from forming.


  1. Unconsciously grinding your teeth.

You may not realize that you unconsciously grind your teeth while sleeping, so it could help to have a parent, other relative or partner stay with you for a night as you sleep to determine if you are experiencing bruxism (often caused by stress). The friction from the grinding action can damage your teeth, and using a bite guard can prevent this from happening.


  1. Your age and genetics.

Finally, your specific bodily makeup could be a factor in the formation of cavities. You could inherit dental issues like crevices and enamel problems, or the number of years of failing to observe proper dental habits could finally be catching up with you. It’s best to consult your trusted dentist about the best treatment program so you can be free from cavities once and for all.

If you have additional questions about cavity prevention, contact your local Burtonsville dentist at Nicholas Dental Care. Let the dental professionals give you more information and answer any questions you may have.