Things that our patients want to know
Amalgam is a mixture of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by mercury. Dentists have used this material to fill teeth for more than 100 years. Technically it is a good material that is cheap and easy to work with and can last for many years. In recent years however there have been several concerns as to the safety of amalgam (silver) fillings. The controversy is due to the thinking that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems in people that are susceptible to heavy metals.
Although some old studies indicate that there are no measurable health problems in patients who have silver fillings, we do know that mercury is a toxic material. In addition newer studies however are producing more and more evidence that amalgam fillings can lead to severe health problems.
The majority of dentists still use amalgam (silver) fillings and think that they are safe. In our practice we do not support this thinking and therefore use alternative filling materials and methods. The reason is that if there is a possibility of being toxic to our patients and to ourselves it is enough reason to seek safer alternatives.
There are numerous new options to silver fillings, including composite (tooth-colored), porcelain, and zirconium oxide crowns.
If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail and find out about better alternatives, please come and see us at a time that is convenient.
Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?