Two Dental Health Concerns Addressed by Your Austin Dentist

In today’s world, things like mercury exposure and radiation exposure are big concerns for the general public. Coincidentally, both things relate directly to dental care, so Austin dentist Dr. Steven Van Wicklen wants to point out two pieces of information that will effect how you view these issues in relation to your professional dental care.

Dental Care and Mercury Exposure

Once upon a time, all cavities were filled with amalgam fillings, which are dark, heavy metal restorations made of a combination of trace metals, including silver, tin, aluminum, zinc, and mercury. In recent years, these fillings have been deemed harmful to children, expectant mothers, and elderly people. They have been proven to leak and break down over time thanks to the wear and tear that your teeth endure on a daily basis, releasing potentially harmful mercury content into your bloodstream.

To prevent this, and to make dark spots in your smile a thing of the past, Dr. Van Wicklen offers dental fillings made from composite resin, a biocompatible, tooth-colored material that is safe, durable, and long lasting. Composite fillings blend in with your natural tooth structure, are safe for everyone, and can last for years with proper care and dental hygiene.

Dental Care and Radiation Exposure

While Dr. Van Wicklen doesn’t offer an alternative to traditional dental X-rays, he wants you to know that these images are crucial to your dental health. Dental X-rays give Dr. Van Wicklen a beneath-the-surface look at what’s going on with your teeth and gums so that he can provide you with advanced and personalized dental care.

He also wants you to know that during a regular dental X-ray, you’re exposed to a minimal amount of radiation. In fact, you’re only exposed to 2 to 3 mrems of radiation during each X-ray, which is just a fraction of your annual radiation exposure. An average person is exposed to 360 mrems each year, which you contract from sleeping next to another person, eating, walking around, living in a brick building, flying in an airplane, reading a book for more than three hours a day, and several other daily activities.

Of course, we take the recommended precautions when it comes to your radiology, but encourage you to not say no to this necessary preventive dental measure.

For more information or to reserve an appointment with Dr. Van Wicklen, call our Austin dentist office at (512) 448-3131 or visit us online at