Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why You Should Change Your Mercury Fillings to Biocompatible Resin?

Dental amalgams have been in use for centuries, and the specific amalgam comprised of mercury, silver, tin, and copper was first used in the Western world in the nineteenth century. Concerns over the toxicity of mercury have led to amalgam falling out of favor, and many dentists now recommend that people with amalgam fillings have them replaced with safer biocompatible material.

The Problem with Mercury Amalgam Fillings

Mercury amalgam fillings are popular with many dentists, largely because the material is strong, durable, and inexpensive. The problem is, this type of amalgam is approximately 50% mercury, a substance that has well-documented toxic effects on the brain and other organs. For this reason alone, the use of mercury in amalgam fillings is an increasingly controversial issue, with many dentists opting to use other materials instead.

Mercury’s toxicity to humans isn't the only problem; however—there are also concerns over environmental toxicity caused by the disposal of amalgam waste. In the US, mercury amalgam disposal is largely unregulated, and it’s estimated that it may contribute up to a third of mercury waste in this country.

In purely aesthetic terms, mercury amalgam is less desirable these days because its dully silvery color doesn't match natural tooth shades, and over time amalgam fillings can cause discoloration in the surrounding tooth.

Biocompatible Fillings are the Solution

South Bay Dentistry uses biocompatible over amalgam fillings
Biocompatible composite fillings create a natural smile

All of the problems that relate to the use of mercury amalgam fillings are solved by using biocompatible resins instead. Resins are made from a mixture of ceramic, glass, and plastic, and they are highly versatile, particularly in comparison to mercury amalgam. Resins can be used to repair teeth that are broken, worn, and chipped, as well as those that need filling, and damage to resin fillings is easily repaired. Biocompatible resins can also be colored to match the natural shade of your teeth, so once resin fillings are fitted they blend into a natural looking smile.

Due to the health concerns associated with mercury, we recommend that if you currently have mercury amalgam fillings, you have those fillings removed and replaced with biocompatible resin. Doing this means you won’t have to worry about the potentially toxic effects of mercury, and you’ll also benefit aesthetically with natural-looking tooth-colored fillings.

South Bay Dentistry & Orthodontics works to educate their patients to the best dental practices including preventative measures to best support oral health and limit effects on physical health conditions. Call the office today to find out more about how Biocompatible Resin improves overall health and aesthetics.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Understanding your Teeth Whitening Options

As a hugely popular cosmetic treatment, teeth whitening can seriously improve a person’s smile, transforming a set of stained or discolored teeth into dazzling, pearly whites! But, when it comes to removing stains from your teeth, it is always best to talk with your dentist about your options. It’s best to take your lifestyle and expectations into consideration when choosing a teeth whitening procedure or product.

Teeth whitening products are used to remove stains from the enamel and dentin; however, different products yield different experiences. Before embarking upon your treatment, it might be a good idea to consider how a few of these treatments work and which one meets your unique needs.


Zoom whitening is an in-office treatment whose name provides a good indication as to its strongest asset – speed! A hydrogen-based gel is applied to the teeth and a Zoom light is used to penetrate and break up the stains. The process is fast, taking only a single office visit. The entire treatment takes less than an hour to complete and your dentist may send you home with custom trays to maintain your bright smile.


Opalescence is a gel containing an active ingredient that – like Zoom! – penetrates the enamel to break down discoloration and stains, but it is provided to patients who wish to undergo treatment in the comfort of their own home. The gel is provided by the dentist, and custom mouth trays are designed to fit the customer’s teeth. The trays and the Opalescence gel are sent home with the patient with detailed instructions from their dentist for a customized treatment plan.

Zoom Day White

Another “at-home” option is a daytime tray. The customized trays are created prior to start of treatment and patients are instructed on how to use them as they go about their usual daily activities. Zoom Day White involves using a whitening agent that works extremely quickly, and the patient may only need to wear their trays for 15 minutes twice a day!

Zoom Night White

If daytime isn’t as convenient as a night-time treatment, Zoom Night White offers patients a chance to whiten at bedtime. Their dentist will assist them with their trays and whitening treatment – patients use the take home kit and can expect to see noticeable results within just a few days.

Results vary according to the type of stain or discoloration and the course of treatment selected. Some stains are more difficult and stubborn than others; thankfully, teeth whitening treatments are carefully monitored and adjustments are made according to the patient’s needs.

If you are in the Gardena, CA area, please contact South BayDentistry for information on teeth whitening. The professionals at South Bay offer Zoom, Zoom Day White, Zoom Night White, and Opalescence teeth whitening treatments. Schedule an appointment today by phone at 310-499-1451, or via their website at www.southbaydental.com.