Fillings are not actually made from the teeth, but rather from a substance called a hardening agent. The process of filling in the tooth is called the polishing or filling of the tooth. While it is possible to get metal dental fillings, they are not really the same as your natural teeth. When you have a filling made, it is not the same as natural tooth filling as the material used has been changed. Metal fillings come from a metal alloy, which can include titanium, gold, amalgam, silver, and even plastic.
In most cases, the metal used will be alloyed with other materials to create a strong composite that is stronger than its own components. After this composite is created, it will be polished down until it has the consistency of natural material. This is done by working with an abrasive material that will remove small amounts of material from the original piece of metal until it matches the original, finer material used in the fabrication of the new piece.
So why do people worry about the answer to the question “Are fillings and bonding the same?” One concern that many have is the risk of infection. When a filling is used, it comes into contact with your gums, and since it is not meant to make contact with your mouth, it can be difficult to tell whether or not you have an infection. If you have an infection, your dentist will take a sample of your infected tooth for testing. A metal filling is different than a natural tooth filling because it does not normally contain bacteria.
Another concern is the use of mercury in gold fillings. People who had their gold fillings extracted because of the presence of mercury were often not told of the risk of infection and did not find out about it until after the filling had already been inserted into their mouth. The FDA has recognized mercury as being a known human carcinogen. Whether or not the risk of contamination is higher with metal dental fillings depends on how clean the mercury-filled toothbrush is, how old the fillings are, and how many times you use the same gold brush between fillings.
A final concern involves the tendency of metals to leach into the filling over time. This leeching can take place even if the toothbrush is used very carefully. It also happens with natural metal dental fillings. Gold is especially susceptible to this leaching. Over time, this can lead to significant levels of gold in the filling. In fact, the older the gold dental filling gets, the more it would accumulate.
Although these are only some concerns, understanding why some materials are better for your body than others is important. You may find that gold dental fillings are a good choice for you based on your health and dental history. The main thing to keep in mind is that each person’s body chemistry is different. The good news is that there are options available for those that are concerned about the question, “Are fillings and bonding the same?” by consulting your dentist.