I was told that my cavity was too deep so a white filling wouldn’t work.

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I have been getting white fillings for many years. But recently when I went in for a normal check-up the dentist found a couple of cavities on some back teeth. Get this, he said they were too deep for white fillings. I’m no dentist, but this sounds ridiculous. I refused treatment and want to find a dentist that will do mercury-free white fillings. I use Denti-Cal insurance. Is there any way I can search for a mercury-free dentist that will take care of this for me?

– Paulo in California


Interesting explanation, to say the least. To state that a cavity is too deep for a white filling is a bazaar opinion. In actuality, deeper fillings are much better suited for white composite fillings. This is because amalgam (silver) fillings can make the tooth more sensitive to temperature changes. And if the decay is deep, there is likely a chance that it is approaching the nerve center of the tooth. The metal acts as a conductor in the tooth. But for a white filling, not only is it mercury-free which sounds important to you, it eliminates the sensitivity, as well as strengthening the integrity of the tooth.

As for using Denti-Cal and finding a mercury-free dentist, there is some bad news there. That insurance is the state-run dental insurance plan. Therefore, they will always cover the lesser expensive treatment option. That is likely the real reason the dentist you visited stated that white fillings wouldn’t work. The kicker is Denti-Cal won’t even let you pay the difference between the white filling and amalgam. So you may have to bite the bullet and pay for the white fillings yourself.

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.