The amalgam-mercury dental fillings are a contemporary restoration from the Civil War era. In recent years there has been an on-going debate about the potential health risk these dental fillings may place on the body's immune system. In fact, there are several European countries that no longer allow these restorations to be used. Though our country has not yet taken this position, it is interesting to observe that health regulatory authorities have designated the extra mercury scraps as a toxic waste, which must be isolated, packaged, and hauled away by a hazardous waste disposal service. The question must be asked, "Why are we using our mouth as the other dump site?" Why is the mouth considered a suitable, "safe" place to store such hazardous waste, especially if healthier, longer-lasting options are available?
Because of this concern for overall health and dental safety, there have been major advances in dental materials over the past few decades. Composite fillings, better known as “white fillings” are resin based fillings that are 100% metal free. Composites are mainly used to fill small areas of decay as they are layered into the tooth and cured or hardened to shape.