Episode 077 | Composite Fillings, Replacing one evil with another



Transcript:

Hello and welcome to episode number 77 of Elmar´s Tooth Talk: The missing link to total health. 

In today’s episode, we explore the most common alternative to mercury amalgam fillings, the tooth-coloured composite fillings. 

So, What’s in it for you in this episode:

We talk about:

  • Are white fillings a sensible alternative?
  • WHAT are the arguments against composite fillings?
  • WHY composite fillings are more susceptible to tooth decay and abrasion
  • WHY composite fillings trigger allergies
  • WHAT are the solutions
  • HOW to move on

What about amalgam fillings

Mercury amalgam fillings are still used in the dental practice. 

One of the reason: You are told that it is safe and therefore, it is socially acceptable! 

From a health point of view, however, it appears rather questionable which is why more and more dentists refuse to process this material and even more patients demand healthier solutions.

Are white fillings a sensible alternative?

The white fillings used in dentistry are the so-called composites. The word composite comes from the Latin (compositum) and means something like “put together”.

In fact, they are made up of an organic matrix, the plastic, and inorganic fillers. 

A composite phase of silanes ensures the intimate bond between the plastic matrix called the resin and the fillers which are quartz and glass. 

Depending on the make, the filler content is between 65 and 85 percent by weight or 55 to 75 percent by volume. 

The plastic used is almost exclusively the “Bowen resin” of bisphenol A glycidyl methacrylate in short bis-GMA.

Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen with an estrogen-like effect and is suspected of being harmful to health and genetic material. 

Thus, it disrupts not only sexual development but also brain development in mice and birds. 

According to current American studies, obesity, which is widespread today, could also have one of its causes in this.

When heated and exposed to acidic pH, individual BPA molecules can leach out of the filling. 

In the organism, BPA has a similar effect to the female sex hormone estrogen. In animal studies, it disrupted embryonic and brain development, caused infertility, cancer, and behavioural problems.

Studies by Frederick vom Saal have shown that women with high levels of bisphenol in their blood are on average heavier than women with low levels. 

Children of women who are heavily exposed to BPA appear to be fatter than those of women who are not exposed to it.

Conclusion

Anyone who replaces their amalgam fillings for composite fillings with these harmful ingredients is doing their health a disservice!

Further Arguments from amalgam Proponents against composites

More susceptible to Tooth decay

  1. Polymers go into the solid-state in a chemical equilibrium reaction with a change in volume. 

But this reaction always leaves liquid monomer fractions, which on the one hand are toxic to the pulp and nerve-damaging, and on the other hand lead to stress conditions due to the change in volume and thus to the formation of gaps due to tears in the adhesive joint. This gap formation leads to an increased risk of caries, especially in the interdental areas that are difficult to control.

Solution

This can be easily avoided by placing composite fillings in multiple layers

Aging composite Fillings

  1. During ageing, polymer fillings suffer another change in volume in the cavity as a result of liquid absorption; they become vulnerable to attack by bacteria and possibly also by digestive enzymes in the oral cavity as ageing progresses. 

The very specific spectrum of germs under leaking polymeric fillings is frightening in its composition and aggressive potency. 

If you compare that with amalgam fillings, composite fillings appear to come off extremely badly.

Solution:

Good oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups and a healthy diet will reduce the risk for decay massively.

Resistance against abrasion

  1. Composite fillings are accused of still not having sufficient resistance to deformation and abrasion for use in molar teeth.

From the point of view of science, amalgam proponents argue, it is not justifiable to ban the filling material amalgam. 

Solution:

The formulations used today with their ceramic ingredients are very well capable of withstanding the pressure and abrasion in the molar areas.

  1. Limited Indication

Current research shows that substitute materials, for example, based on plastic, cannot by far cover all indications of amalgam fillings. 

Solution:

Today’s composite materials are very well capable of replacing amalgam fillings in all kinds of indications.

  1. Allergy triggering components

The composites contain substances such as the monomers trimethylene glycol methacrylate (TEGDMA) and hydroxypropyl methacrylate (HEMA) that can trigger allergic reactions. 

In a Danish study, contact dermatitis caused by these materials was detected in 2% of the participating dentists.

Therefore, it is argued composite fillings are therefore not an alternative to amalgam.

Solution:

Use of composite fillings which do not contain any of these ingredients.

In summarising it appears that the arguments of amalgam proponents that it is premature to describe composites as a more compatible amalgam alternative have become obsolete with the new generation of composites which are far more durable and there are companies which manufacture composites without health-threatening ingredients.

From our experience, the best alternative to larger fillings which are not fully surrounded by teeth is ceramic inlays manufactured individually by a dental technician.

I trust this episode sheds enough light on the discussion of amalgam fillings versus composite fillings for you to make an informed decision once confronted with the question of which filling material should I choose?

That’s it for today. Thank you for tuning in to Elmar’s Tooth Talk – The Missing Link To Total Health. Bye for now

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