Are Mercury Fillings Dangerous?

Decades ago, mercury fillings were the standard of dental care for treating cavities. As a result, millions of Americans now have mercury fillings in their mouths. However, in light of recent information and technological advances, it’s now understood that mercury fillings are dangerous. They can pose a health threat to the person who has them.

Dangers of Mercury Fillings

There is no safe threshold for human’s exposure to mercury. Even tiny amounts are very dangerous. Some of the dangers known to exist from mercury fillings include:

  • Higher chance of mercury poisoning
  • Danger to fetuses
  • Hearing loss
  • Thyroid problems
  • Neurological impairment
  • Immune system impairment
  • Insomnia
  • And many more…

There’s absolutely zero question about the dangers of mercury fillings. Experts all agree on this issue.

Should You Have Mercury Fillings Removed?

Mercury is an element that emits dangerous vapors. Inhalation of these vapors is just as dangerous—if not more so—than having the mercury fillings themselves. Unfortunately, when mercury fillings are removed, those vapors are released.

Therefore, there is a debate as to whether or not those who already have mercury fillings should have them removed. On the one hand, having mercury fillings poses a health threat. But on the other hand, removing the fillings also poses a health threat. Who can say whether one threat is worse than the other? Your dentist in Albany can help you determine whether or not your mercury fillings should stay put or whether it might be worth considering having them removed. In general, if the mercury fillings appear to be stable, it might make sense not to touch them. However, your Albany dentist is the expert, so you can rely on their expertise to help guide you in your ultimate decision.

If you have questions about what to do about your mercury fillings, please contact us today.


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What is Ozone Therapy in Dentistry and How does it Work?  

When they hear the word “ozone,” most people do not immediately think of dentistry. Ozone is the layer of atmosphere that protects earth from the sun, but it also plays a role in dentistry.

Ozone is a colorless gas that has strong antibacterial and wound healing properties. Specifically, ozone is a molecule that consists of three oxygen atoms bonded together to create a negatively charged particle, so it is attracted to particles with a positive charge. In nature, the negatively charged ozone molecule bonds with positively charged atmospheric pollutants. Bacteria, viruses and fungi often have a positive charge, so they are attracted to ozone molecules – this action makes ozone a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal treatment. Beneficial molecules typically carry a negative charge, so ozone does not disturb them.

Dentists have been using ozone since the 1930s to treat a variety of dental issues. The antibacterial properties of ozone can prevent small cavities from developing in the pits and fissures along the biting surfaces of the back teeth. Ozone can help disinfect areas of decay under tooth restorations, and help disinfect areas of chronic gum disease.

The colorless gas is helpful during a root canal, which is a dental procedure performed to treat a serious tooth infection. A root canal removes infected tissue from the root of the tooth. The procedure can save a badly infected tooth, and using ozone can improve the outcome of a root canal. During a root canal, the dentist removes the infected tissue from the canal of the tooth then puts a realistic-looking crown on the treated tooth. Ozone helps disinfect the canal of the tooth and the tissues surrounding the tip of the tooth root to prevent the infection from spreading.

Placed under sealants on children’s teeth, ozone can prevent the entrapment of bacteria deep in the grooves of teeth. Ozone therapy can even decrease tooth sensitivity by hardening the tooth structure.

For more information on ozone dentistry, contact Herzog and Primomo DDS.


What to Know About Periodontal Disease  

There is a lot of misconception about periodontal disease. Since it affects the teeth, many people think that periodontal disease is all about the teeth. However, it’s actually a disease that affects the gums first, which leads to problems with teeth. In fact, periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that impacts the area surrounding the roots of the teeth, the alveolar bone and the periodontal ligament. Read on to learn more about periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease is Preventable

In the vast majority of cases, periodontal disease could have been prevented. Regular teeth cleanings and visits to the dentist can take care of early signs of issues with the gums.

Periodontal Disease Starts With Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal diseases. While periodontal disease affects areas in addition to the gums, gingivitis affects only the gum tissue.

Dental Plaque Leads to Periodontal Disease

If you are wondering where the bacteria in periodontal disease comes from, look no further than dental plaque. Dental plaque is that hard, white build-up on your teeth that dental hygienists are always trying to get rid of. This is why routine teeth cleanings are so important throughout your life.

Periodontal Disease is Treatable

The good news is that your Albany dentist can treat periodontal disease. Depending upon the extent of the disease progression, your dentist may or may not be able to save affected teeth. However, with expedient, efficient treatment, periodontal disease can be halted.

Treatment For Periodontal Disease

To prevent tooth loss, periodontal disease needs to be vigorously treated. Available treatments include:

  • Deep Cleaning and Scaling
  • This gets rid of plaque build up on the teeth and beneath the gum line.
  • Laser Treatment
  • The latest advance against periodontal disease is laser treatment, which kills the bacteria that damages teeth, gums and supporting structure.
  • Home Maintenance
  • Your at-home oral hygiene is essential. Your periodontist in Albany will guide you as to what you need to do to ensure that periodontal disease does not return.

For more information and help with periodontal disease, please contact us today.