There are several differences between conventional and holistic dentists, including the materials used to fill cavities. Holistic dentists view every part of the body as interconnected, so they believe that oral health can impact on your health as a whole. As such, anything that has the potential to be harmful to your health is avoided, and this includes amalgam fillings. These types of fillings contain small amounts of mercury, which is a neurotoxin. Conventional dentistry believes amalgam fillings are safe, as they don't contain enough mercury to cause harm, while holistic dentistry takes the view that small amounts of mercury could leak from an amalgam filling over time and be absorbed into your body. Here's an overview of three types of fillings that holistic dentists believe to be safer than amalgam:
Composite fillings are made of a ceramic and acrylic resin compound. They are free from harmful chemicals, such as BPA, but they are more expensive than amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are tooth-coloured, so they're not as obvious as amalgam fillings, and the process of filling a cavity with composite material is no different than when using amalgam material. Although they are hard-wearing, composite fillings may not last as long as amalgam fillings.
Glass Ionomer Cement
Glass ionomer cement is a filling material made with polyacrylic acid and silicate glass powder. It's applied to the affected tooth in layers, and each layer is cured with a polymerisation lamp, which produces a hard, durable filling. The finished filling will be trimmed and polished to ensure the tooth blends in seamlessly to the others.
Organically Modified Ceramic
Organically modified ceramic (ormocer) is the newest filling material on the market and it's toxin-free. It benefits from being strong, but it can be prone to wear over time, which means ormocer fillings will need to be checked regularly to ensure they are stable. Ormocer fillings bond well to natural teeth and they are tooth-coloured, so they're ideal for those who are interested in aesthetically pleasing dentistry.
If you need a cavity filled, your holistic dentist will discuss the options with you and make recommendations before treatment starts. Your dentist may use essential oils to clean and treat the area that needs to be filled beforehand. These oils, such as clove or neem, have antibacterial properties and can be used to prevent the tooth getting infected with bacteria as the filling material is applied. If you need a dental filling and want to avoid amalgam, consult a holistic dentistry clinic.