Do you have crowns or any restorations in your mouth to reinforce damaged teeth? What materials are they made of? Many people prefer their dental crowns and fillings to be fashioned from white materials like composite-resin or porcelain. Brighton dentists, Dr. Thomas Villani and Dr. Richard Kondrat, would like to challenge you to a quiz regarding your options for dental restorations.


Q1. True or false – Amalgam is a single metal that is only slightly less valuable than gold.

Q2. True or false – You will be exposed to more mercury vapors by removing an amalgam filling than by having one in your mouth long term.

Q3. True or false- You cannot request a particular material for dental restorations and will have to go with what your dentist recommends.


A1. FALSE – Dental amalgam is an alloy (mixture) of various metals that are far less expensive than gold, including silver. Amalgam offers a similar strength to gold with a much lower cost. For this reason, when the Crawcour brothers introduced amalgam to the dental community of upstate New York in 1833, there was an initial excitement. Since the introduction of amalgam in dentistry, however, many people have been concerned with the mercury exposure from the silver element in the alloy.

A2. TRUE – Some people still strongly believe that the exposure to mercury from amalgam is reason enough to replace their fillings or crowns made from amalgam. However, the amount of mercury that you are exposed to with dental restorations is very little. If you do choose to have fillings or crowns replaced with tooth-colored options, you will have some vapor exposure, but again, not anything to be concerned about from a health perspective. The most compelling reason for considering a switch would really be cosmetic.

A3. FALSE – You can partner with Dr. Villani or Dr. Kondrat to decide which material makes the most sense in your particular case. Tooth decay can be repaired by using ceramic restorations, but if your decay is on your back molars, you may want to consider metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) for added strength. You can weigh the options of what your insurance will cover versus the location of your damaged tooth and figure out a solution that you will be happy with.


Located in Brighton, MA,Brighton Family Dental Group features experienced dentists and an excellent range of in-office treatments for every member of your family who needs dental care. If you’d like to learn more, you can schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Thomas Villani or Dr. Richard Kondrat by calling our office at (617) 562-5210.