Why do some dentists allow children to get mercury-free fillings and others say they have to get amalgam? My sister-in-law’s dentist gives her children white fillings, but my dentist refuses and says they don’t last on children. Who’s right?
Dear Mary Ellen,
Every dentist works within their comfort level. He may not be skilled in composites and his fillings tend to fall out. Some dentists are comfortable working with children and some, while they do treat children, aren’t as comfortable. Additionally, each dentist varies in their skill level. Some do a lot of composite fillings and some don’t. There is a different technique to placing the old silver amalgam fillings to today’s composites.
With children, it gets a little trickier. With composite fillings, you have to keep the composite material completely dry while it’s being placed. While some children seem able to do that naturally, the more common bent of a child is to wiggly.
That being said, it doesn’t mean they can’t have the fillings. Like many adults, some children need sedation dentistry. That simple step allows every child to get mercury-free fillings.
Who Can Give My Child a Mercury-free Filling?
What you need is a different pediatric dentist. One who is comfortable working with composite fillings along with children. Depending on the size of your city, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one. However, if you’re in a very small town it could be more challenging.
In that case, you should know that many general dentists enjoy treating children and are fully qualified to do so. Just check to see what age they like children to start coming to their office. If they say 8 or 9 years old, that’s a sign they’re not quite comfortable with the younger set. But, if they say 2 or 3 (or even younger), then you can know they’re comfortable around children. Of course, always check reviews.
You’ll want to find a mercury-free dentist. They only place composite fillings, so the experience needed will be there.
I hope this helps you.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Raymond Bolt. Check out his dental tips for parents.