Mercury Free Fillings Portland

Many years ago, Valley Dental Works decided never to place an amalgam (silver) filling again. Even within the dentistry field, this topic is controversial and varied. Our practice is committed to providing our patients with the outstanding dental care they need while doing all we can to keep them safe and healthy.

That is why we offer various alternative options to amalgam fillings that are safe and strong.


Mercury-free fillings, also known as safe dental fillings, offer significant benefits for those looking to enhance their dental health while maintaining aesthetic integrity.

Firstly, they are highly biocompatible, making them an excellent choice for patients with sensitivities or concerns about traditional amalgam fillings. These non-toxic dental restorations are safer and provide a more natural appearance, seamlessly blending with the existing tooth structure. Their durability is comparable to traditional options, often lasting many years without needing replacement.

Additionally, mercury-free fillings require less removal of the natural tooth structure, helping preserve the original strength and integrity of the tooth. Opting for these fillings contributes positively to one’s overall health and well-being, aligning with a holistic approach to dental care.


Several compelling reasons motivated their original choice to the present:

  • The packaging containing the material includes the universal sign for poison. They do not want their employees handling the material, nor do they want to place it in someone’s mouth.
  • Placing amalgam requires more of the natural tooth to be removed during the procedure. As a proponent of preserving as many teeth as possible, this goes against their philosophy. Even though using composite (tooth-colored) material requires more time and skill in placing the procedure, our doctors feel this is the best option for their patients.
  • The silver material is strong. Very strong! Stronger than a natural tooth. This may sound ideal, but over the years the material will expand and contract in the tooth, thus weakening the tooth. We see many people who have no issues with the filling until the tooth breaks away from the filling, which often requires a crown or onlay. In some instances, it involves the removal of the entire tooth.
  • The amalgam can stain the surrounding gum tissue, leaving a permanent “tattoo” even after removing the silver.
  • Often, there is decay under old amalgam fillings that do not appear on X-rays. Such hidden decay can be a reason for painful abscesses and needed root canals.
  • The amalgam filling, containing mercury, gives off gases when rubbed (chewing, grinding) or heated (drinking hot coffee or eating soup).


When examining a patient’s mouth, our doctors and their team will always let them know if amalgam fillings exist. We inform people of the risks of keeping the fillings and always offer to remove them.

When someone proactively decides to replace the fillings with composite material, we take concrete steps to ensure the safety of the removal of the hazardous materials. This includes:

  • Using a rubber dam to prevent pieces from going down the patient’s mouth
  • Using high-speed suction to quickly and efficiently remove the metal
  • Placing oxygen on the person’s nose to prevent breathing and reabsorbing the dust
  • Using a higher speed drill so the filling is broken up into larger pieces and thus removed quicker


Most insurance companies allow the white fillings to be placed on the front teeth. However, for back teeth, many will only be reimbursed at the silver filling rate. This difference becomes the responsibility of the patient.

It is important to note that the procedure is not the same. The tooth is prepared differently, and the material used requires additional steps. The cost variance is a reflection of additional skill and time.

At Valley Dental Works, we offer financing options that make paying for the dental care you receive much more manageable. Please contact any team member if you have questions or require more information.

I was blown away with how warm and friendly the staff was

5 5 Star Rating
Written onJuly 6, 2015

Ive had many issues with my teeth over the years and have been to many different dental offices. Upon walking into valley dental works, I was blown away with how warm and friendly the staff was, even while on the phone. The lobby itself is very calming, the colors and decor are relaxing . The water and coffee are a great touch. The office staff handled all my paperwork easily and even worked with my insurance and questioned them when they thought they were wrong. Dr. Miller himself was a great dentist. I understand he has hundreds of patients, but made me feel like I was his only one. Took his time with my issue and constantly made sure I was not in pain. When it was time to make a decision on what path I would take fixing my teeth, he not only gave me one option but 4. Explained each option with the pros and cons. I appreciate that. I like choices. I don’t think anyone looks forward to going to the dentist, but I definitely won’t mind going to my follow up appointment next month.


by Todd


We specialize in providing top-tier dental services in Portland, including mercury-free fillings. Our commitment to your safety and health is evident through our use of advanced techniques and biocompatible materials. Our team of experts is trained in the latest dental restoration technologies, ensuring that each patient receives personalized and effective treatment.

Choosing Valley Dental Works means opting for a provider that prioritizes your health and aesthetic needs, ensuring that your dental restorations are safe and beautifully crafted to enhance your smile.


Dr. Miller eliminated mercury-containing fillings from their practice many years ago because questions remain about their safety, and we believe that advancing technology has made better materials available.

We offer gold, porcelain, and composite restorations and will recommend the most appropriate for your situation. If you need dental fillings and are looking for a dentist who cares about your health and is dedicated to providing you with the outstanding dental care you deserve, contact Valley Dental Works today to schedule an appointment.


  • What are the safety concerns with mercury-free fillings?

    Mercury-free fillings, recognized for being non-toxic dental restorations, are considered safer than traditional amalgam fillings as they do not contain mercury, a potentially harmful substance. They are made from composite resin or ceramic, both of which are safe and tested materials used extensively in dental practices across the globe.

  • How durable are mercury-free fillings?

    These safe dental fillings are highly durable and designed to withstand the regular pressures of chewing and biting. With proper care, they can last as long as traditional fillings, often up to 15 years or more.

  • Does my insurance cover mercury-free fillings?

    Many insurance providers cover these non-toxic dental restorations under their dental plans. It is advisable to consult with your insurance provider to understand the specifics of your coverage.

  • Are mercury-free fillings suitable for all patients?

    Yes, mercury-free fillings are suitable for most patients, including those who are pregnant, nursing, or have allergies to metals used in traditional fillings. Their biocompatibility makes them a preferred choice for patients seeking a healthier alternative for dental restorations.

  • Can mercury-free fillings improve my oral health?

    Absolutely. Mercury-free fillings prevent tooth decay and maintain better oral health by avoiding the use of mercury, which can be harmful over time. Patients often report less sensitivity and discomfort with these fillings than with traditional metal fillings.

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Final Portraits

*All images are of actual patients

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