For more than 150 years, patients all over the world have been receiving amalgam (silver) fillings for their cavities. Even today, amalgam is commonly used. However, in recent years, certain concerns have been raised over the safety of amalgam. So, do the potential health risks of amalgam outweigh the benefits? If you’re one of the millions of people with silver fillings, don’t feel like you have to run to your dentist just yet. Find out the facts about amalgam fillings.
What Exactly Is Amalgam?
Amalgam is an affordable and durable metal blend used in fillings. It contains a variety of metals including, silver, copper and tin. What has many patients so nervous about amalgam is that it also uses mercury as a binding agent.
Isn’t Mercury Dangerous?
We have all heard the horror stories about mercury poisoning. The “mad hatter” disease came from overexposure to mercury and lead to insanity, kidney damage and eventually death. However, mad hatter disease, or any other mercury related illnesses, cannot be caused from your fillings. Both the scientific and dental communities have come forward and firmly stated that amalgam is a safe filling material.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) have conducted extensive research on the effects of amalgam. The ADA’s official statement on amalgam calls it a “safe, affordable and durable material.” They have not found results that would suggest amalgam is dangerous in any of their research.
Similarly, the FDA claims that while amalgam releases a small about of mercury vapor, it is not enough to cause concern. They stated that amalgam fillings are safe for all adults and children as young as 6 years old. However, the FDA does admit that there is little research done on the potential effect of amalgam fillings and pregnant women.
Should I Have My Amalgam Fillings Removed?
Even with all the evidence out there supporting amalgam, many patients are still worried. Filings should never be removed or replaced unless there is further tooth decay. Unnecessarily removing a filling may lead to loss of healthy tooth structure and actually increase the chances of mercury exposure.
The only time someone should have their amalgam filling removed is when they have sensitivity to their silver fillings.
Ask the Professionals
If you are still concerned about your amalgam fillings, or have any other dental questions, call Daxon Dentistry! Our team of dental experts will be happy to answer all of your questions. Do your mouth a favor and come to Daxon Dentistry so we can help!