Mercury-Free Dentistry

Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, South Carolina

At the Hilton Head Island office of Dr. Timothy Gross, we are proud to offer mercury-free and metal-free dentistry. Our dental treatments use advanced composite or porcelain materials to restore your teeth, avoiding the risks associated with mercury in silver-colored  amalgam fillings.

The Dangers of Amalgam Fillings

Even a small amount of mercury in your dental restorations can be harmful to your body. Silver fillings contain 50% mercury which, when mixed with other metals, creates what is called an amalgam. It is well known that mercury is one of the most toxic elements on earth. While some dental establishments have deemed mercury fillings safe for use in people’s mouths, it is illegal to place those same fillings in the trash, wash them down the drain, or even flush them down the toilet.

Metal fillings have several other disadvantages, including:

  • Risk of tooth fracture with even slight temperature changes (mercury expands and contracts)
  • Fillings can loosen and fall out
  • Metal fillings leak, and tooth decay can reach beneath the filling’s surface
  • Tarnished metal can permanently stain your teeth, giving them a gray appearance
  • Metal fillings don’t match the color of teeth and are unaesthetic

Amalgam fillings emit a mercury vapor even after they are placed in your teeth. This vapor can not only affect you – it can also impact a developing child or fetus. Other countries around the world have already banned the use of amalgam for dental restorations.

The patient below had the mercury based fillings replaced on one side of her mouth. Note how much more natural and healthier it looks.

The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings

With tooth-colored fillings, you can avoid all of the problems listed above, improving both the health and the appearance of your smile. The tooth-colored fillings are bonded, meaning they strengthen the teeth, whereas mercury amalgam fillings weaken teeth.

Not only are white fillings safer for the environment, they are also functionally superior and improve the appearance of your smile. Because amalgam fillings are metal and have mercury, they expand and contract at different rates than your tooth structure, and they often leak at the interface of the filling and tooth. This is why teeth with silver fillings frequently fracture and have decay under and around them, making crowns and sometimes root canals necessary.

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Replacing Metal Fillings

Dr. Gross routinely helps patients in the Hilton Head Island area replace their old mercury fillings, crowns, or bridges with safe tooth-colored materials. He uses a protocol that virtually eliminates your exposure to the toxic materials he is removing from your teeth. That protocol includes the use of:

  • Non-latex rubber dam isolation of teeth
  • High-volume suction systems
  • Sterile water
  • Removal of the fillings in large chunks

After removing your old dental work, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate any lingering residue or debris. Your new tooth-colored restorations will then be carefully bonded and polished to blend with your smile.

Because Dr. Gross is concerned with the release of mercury from dental offices and its impact on the environment, he has installed a sophisticated mercury filtration system in his office so that when he replaces mercury-based fillings, the mercury is separated and collected from the wastewater before it leaves his office.

The label below is from the standard packaging of amalgam filling material as found in many dental offices:

For patients who are interested in ridding their body of all harmful metals and related toxins, Dr. Gross also works with local physicians who perform chelation therapy.

If you have further questions about amalgam fillings and the benefits of mercury-free dentistry, please contact Dr. Timothy Gross today to schedule a personal consultation. We serve patients in the Bluffton and Hilton Head Island areas of South Carolina.