Dr. Jerome: These are the acceptable plastics; they can be procured at any dental lab.
– Plastic for dentures: Methyl Methacrylate. Available in clear and
pink. Do not use pink.
(The pink color is from mercury or cadmium which is added to the plastic.)
– Plastic for partial dentures: Flexite(TM). Available in clear and pink.
Do not use pink.
– Plastic for fillings: Composite Materials. This is the material
that has been used in front teeth for 30 years. It has been used in
back teeth for 10 years. There are many brands and there are new ones
being marketed constantly. The new ones are very much superior to
those used 10 years ago and they will continue to improve. They do,
however, contain enough barium or zirconium to make them visible on
X-rays. There are no alternatives available without these metals.
Dr. Clark: Composites with barium are not good, but I haven’t seen enough barium toxicity from fillings at this time to merit advising extraction instead. Hopefully, a barium-free variety will become available soon to remove this health risk.
Dr. Jerome: Many people (and dentists too) believe that porcelain is a good substitute for plastic. Porcelain is aluminum oxide with other metals added to get different colors (shades). The metal DOES come out of the porcelain! It has many technical drawbacks as well. Porcelain is not recommended. Sometimes the white composite fillings are called porcelain fillings but they are not. They also require more tooth structure to be removed.
If you have a large bridge, it cannot be replaced with a plastic bridge because it isn’t strong enough. A large bridge must be replaced with a removable partial (Flexite(TM)).
The methods used to remove metals and infections are technical and complicated. See dental information in Sources.
Dr. Clark: I’d like to thank Dr. Jerome for his contributions to this section, and his pioneering work in metal-free dentistry. I hope more dentists acquire his techniques.