- With Mayo Clinic prosthodontist
Alan Carr, D.M.D.read biographyclose window
Alan Carr, D.M.D.Alan B. Carr, D.M.D.
Dr. Alan B. Carr, Department of Dental Specialties at Mayo Clinic, is a consultant in the Division of Prosthodontics and a professor of dentistry at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
Dr. Carr, a native of Hattiesburg, MS., received his prosthodontics training at Mayo. Following his training he has was an assistant professor at Marquette University and then became a full professor at Ohio State University where his clinical duties included Director of Maxillofacial Prosthetics at the James Cancer Hospital. He returned to Mayo in 2000.
Dr. Carr is board certified by the American Board of Prosthodontics. He served in the Air Force and has degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi, University of Mississippi and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He also is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Academy of Maxillofacial Prosthetics, the American College of Prosthodontists and the American Dental Association. He has made dozens of international and national presentations, and is author of a dental textbook.
His clinical practice focuses on combined prosthodontics and reconstruction of patients with disabling oral conditions. His research interests include oral and craniofacial endosseous implants, tobacco cessation, and the impact of oral health on general health, especially for patients with chronic illness and the elderly.
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Treatments and drugs (3)
- OraVerse: Reversing dental numbness
- Dental fillings: Should metal fillings be replaced with composite?
- Denture care: How do I clean dentures?
- When to brush your teeth
- Dental floss vs. water pick: Which is better?
- Electric toothbrush: Better than a manual toothbrush?
Dental fillings: Should metal fillings be replaced with composite?
My dentist recommended replacing my metal dental fillings with a composite material, which would be quite expensive. Is this necessary?
from Alan Carr, D.M.D.
That depends on the reason for your dentist's recommendation.
If your metal dental fillings are defective or show decay, it's important to replace them. Untreated decay may eventually lead to an infection (abscess). In some cases, replacing metal dental fillings may benefit the long-term health of the tooth.
Generally, replacing metal dental fillings for aesthetic reasons should only be done after careful consideration and if your dentist feels it will not compromise the long-term health of the tooth. Likewise, there's no need to replace metal dental fillings because of concerns about mercury in the fillings.
Most metal dental fillings are dental amalgam — a stable alloy made with mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metals. Although concerns have been raised over the years about the safety of mercury in dental amalgam, researchers have proved the concerns to be unfounded. The American Dental Association supports the use of dental amalgam as a safe, reliable and effective treatment for dental decay.
If you're unsure whether you need to replace your metal dental fillings, ask your dentist to explain the options and help you understand what's best in your case.Next question
Denture care: How do I clean dentures?
- Amalgam (dental filling options). American Dental Association. http://www.ada.org/3094.aspx#amafillings. Accessed Oct. 25, 2010.
- About dental amalgam fillings. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/DentalProducts/DentalAmalgam/ucm171094.htm. Accessed Oct. 25, 2010.