Tag Archives: mercury free dentist

Dentist Wants to Replace all My Fillings

I have quite a few fillings in my mouth and my dentist says they all need to be replaced. I’m having a hard time fathoming that they all need to be replaced. Is this really necessary?


Dear Mandy,

A lot of my response will depend on a few factors. Are they silver amalgam fillings or white composite fillings? If they are amalgam fillings, is he planning on replacing them with more of the silver fillings? I would not let him do that.

As fillings age, they start to deteriorate. If you have amalgam fillings, it is possible they have started to leak. This is dangerous for both you and your teeth. These also tend to crack or erode faster as well. The main ingredient in amalgam fillings is mercury, so you don’t want to let this deteriorate in your mouth.

Additionally, eroding or leaky fillings will allow bacteria to seep in. This leads to tooth decay. These usually go unnoticed until it develops into an infection. Then you have a dental emergency on your hands and will need a root canal treatment.

If your dentist is wanting to replace them with composite fillings, I would feel better about that. These are better for your teeth and completely mercury-free. They also bond directly to your teeth, which will strenghten them.

Make Sure You See a Mercury-Free Dentist

If you are getting your dental fillings replaced, you definitely need to do it with a mercury-free dentist. They know how to do a sanitary amalgam removal. Mercury is a known toxin, so you do not want to accidentally swallow any mercury or inhale any mercury vapors.

Mercury-free dentists have the proper equipment and understand the porcedure to keep you from mercury exposure.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck. We offer pediatric services.

When Do You Leave a Pediatric Dentist?

Everyone’s saying my daughter needs to move away from a pediatric dentist. But, we have a good relationship with our pediatric dentist. He lets parents come back into the operatory which helps me feel safe about her being treated. I’m not sure I want to let my sixteen-year-old loose with an adult dentist who may or may not allow me back with her. When do we have to leave?

Sandra Q.

Dear Sandra,

Child with Pediatric Dentist

There isn’t a universal rule for when your child, son or daughter, should switch. Each pediatric dental office usually has their own policy. I’d talk to them and see what their policy is.

One thing I don’t want you worrying about is the safety of your daughter with dentists. I know there have been some stories in the news that would make any parent nervous, but those are very rare indeed. If you’re afraid, many general dentists will also let parents back into the operatory. When you’re calling around, simply ask them.

Are General Dentists Qualified to Treat Children?

If you’re looking for a sort of transitional period, there are general dentists who treat children. They’re perfectly qualified. All of them did a pediatric rotation during dental school. They just didn’t do the extra time to specialize in it. By the time they’re sixteen, you rarely have to worry about something coming up totally pediatric related that they’ll need to give you a specialist recommendation.

In fact, their jaws are developing more into an adult’s, so things like crowns and composite fillings may be better suited to an “adult” dentist. Teenagers also start getting interested in procedures such as teeth whitening, which most pediatric dentists don’t offer. Be aware, though, that their bite is still developing so don’t listen to a dentist who suggests that they’re ready for something like porcelain veneers.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Affordable Dentist for White Fillings

I’m in need of help. You may think I’m just being vain, but I can’t get my dental insurance to cover white fillings. I need one on a front tooth. My insurance will only give me a silver filling. That’s just too humiliating to consider. Is there a way to find an affordable dentist who’ll let me get a white filling at a reasonable price without my insurance?


Dear Cienna,

Phoenix Affordable Dentist

William Somerset Maugham once said, “Money is like a sixth sense – and you can’t make use of the other five without it.” It’s frustrating when you don’t have money to do things that are actually important and good for you. Dental insurance companies are renowned for only covering the most basic of care, even if another procedure is better for you. That is true of how most of them handle fillings as well.

It’s not vain to want your teeth to be all the same color. Plus, there’s the added worry about the high mercury content in silver fillings. While many dentists demand payment upfront, there are some affordable dentists who’ll be willing to work with you.

Some do payment plans. Others will give you the white filling while billing your dental insurance for the amalgam filling and letting you pay the difference.

In your place, I’d find a dentist you trust and explain your situation. Dentists want you to have a smile you’re proud to share. It reflects on them as well. I’d be willing to bet most will work with you.

Affording White Fillings and Teeth Whitening

I know affordability is an issue for you, but I just want to be sure you know once the fillings are made, the color cannot be changed. Because you said it will be on a visible tooth, make sure your teeth are the color you want. You can whiten them now, before getting your filling so they’ll match.

Or, if you need to save up because of costs, you can get your fillings then when you’re ready to whiten, you’ll just have to re-do them.

You may want to talk to your dentist about Care Credit. It’s a medical credit card that will allow you to get both procedures and pay them out in reasonable bits. Depending on your credit, you can even get zero interest terms.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Is It Normal For Children to Freak Out About Cavities?

My son has always gone to the dentist just fine.  He’s even looked forward to the appointments. This last visit was a disaster. We found out he has a cavity. The dentist offered to fill it right then. That’s when everything fell apart. My son started screaming, went limp, slid out of the chair, and fled the room. Is this normal? I was mortified.

Sadie M.

Dear Sadie,

Pediatric Dentist

There could be a few things factoring into this.  First, it doesn’t sound like your dentist is skilled in working with children. Most children don’t do well when an unexpected medical treatment is suddenly thrust upon them.

He would have been better served if the dentist talked to him for a minute ahead of time to let him know what a cavity means and how easy it is to treat, in terms he could understand.

Talk to him about what he thought was going to happen. He may have heard a false horror story at school about what happens when you have a cavity at the dentist.

Maybe the dentist pulled out the needle for the anesthetic. That long puppy could scare a navy seal.  Dentists who work with children know ways of keeping that out of sight.

Sometimes children just can’t handle the idea of the needle anesthetic. Most pediatric dentists also offer sedation dentistry. This helps relax children. In fact, many of them completely sleep through the entire procedure.

I hope this helps.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.


Bummed My Son’s White Filling Keeps Falling Out

I don’t know what to do. I’ve been going to a pediatric dentist for my son. I wanted a white filling for him. The dentist understood that and gave him one. Or, at least he tried. He’s given him three and all of them have fallen out. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think it’s the pediatric dentist. He’s a respected dentist. He knows what he’s doing. Can you help me know what’s going on? I don’t want to give him a mercury filled filling.

Christina – New Jersey


I understand your feelings about mercury-free fillings. Many patients are opting for them. Some patients even insist on them. With children it’s tricky. The process is completely different than with ye old silver amalgam fillings. Composite fillings work almost like a glue. The surface is etched and then the composite is bonded to it. As you can imagine, even a tiny bit of moisture missed in during this bonding process will destroy the bond, which is why a lot of dentists prefer to use amalgam when they’re working on back teeth or helping wiggly children. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Without an examination it’s impossible to tell what the actual culprit is. But, moisture is the likely bad guy. With adults, you can usually work around this and take steps to keep the tooth dry during the procedure. Doctors generally use a mixture of cotton rolls, air, and dental dams to isolate the area they’re working on. Kids, especially little ones, have the tendency to fight this kind of stuff. They’ll move around in the chair, push their tongue into the preparation, and they aren’t typically fond of dental dams. So, when you get to the point where a parent really wants the white filling and the child can’t cooperate enough to keep it dry, sedation during the procedure becomes the next solution.

Dental sedation is not like surgical sedation. He will be conscious, but completely relaxed and very sleepy. It will help him stay still and cooperative during the procedure and is perfectly safe.

If you want to, you can get a second opinion from another pediatric dentist to determine if moisture is the actual issue. Then make a decision from there.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Oral Yeast Infections

I recently have been diagnosed with asthma and have to use an inhaler. Since I’ve started there is this white stuff on my tongue and cheeks. The affected areas are sore. Do you have any understanding of what could be happening?

Alethea B.- Mississippi


I suspect you have oral candidiasis, which is commonly known as an oral yeast infection. You can find the candida fungus in everyone’s body. Generally in their mouth, skin, and digestive tract. Sometimes, a medication that you are using can cause the microorganisms in your body to go out of balance. In this case your asthma medicine likely caused the candida fungus to grow more quickly, leading to a yeast infection.

It is simple to treat. Either your doctor or your dentist can prescribe and anti-fungal medication for you. What kind and how long you will need to take the medication will depen d on the severity of your case. Don’t leave this untreated, because it will not heal itself and can lead to other problems.

You may also be interested in learning about mercury-free dentistry.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.