The Dental Amalgam Poisoning Fear: Should You Be Worried?
post updated: 12/13/2019
Millions of people out there have so-called ‘silver’ fillings in their mouths. In reality, these fillings are known as ‘mercury amalgam’ fillings and are made from a combination of metals, called an amalgam. The reason it is used in fillings because it helps make the mixture pliable. This way it can be pressed into the teeth more easily and the process goes by more smoothly. The combination of metals might include amalgam, mercury, tin, and copper. In recent years, the use of mercury in the mix has caused much outcry because of the toxicity associated with mercury as a substance. However, it turns out that most research finds no relationship between fillings and symptoms of actual mercury poisoning but more of a allergic reaction.
Scientific Studies about Amalgams and Mercury Poisoning
Researchers from all over the world have determined that the use of mercury-containing dental amalgams is safe although some documents state that there are instances of allergic reactions or other side effects.
In the United States the FDA reviewed over 200 scientific articles and relevant abstracts and found that “dental amalgam is a commonly used device with a low risk of adverse events reported to the agency”.
The ADA found that “…scientific evidence supports the position that amalgam is a valuable, viable and safe choice for dental patients”. This is supported by a a review which stated that “studies continue to support the position that dental amalgam is a safe restorative option for both children and adults”.
If you have silver fillings and they are causing discomfort in any way it is a good idea to have them checked out by your dental provider to see if they are in good shape or require replacement.
Replacing Old Silver Fillings
Resulting from fears of mercury toxicity and from older fillings wearing down over time, many people have started having their silver fillings replaced with new composite fillings that are the same color as teeth. Opinions tend to vary regarding the toxicity of mercury in amalgam fillings, and you’ll find no shortage of information from both sides with just a little searching.
With new and sophisticated testing, it is possible to detect mercury vapors being released from silver fillings, but exact levels, or their effect on the human body, is still under evaluation. Testing is likely to continue, and if there ever is specific proof that the mercury in silver fillings causes damage to health, there will likely be a lot more people opting to have them removed.
Another reason that people like to have their silver fillings replaced with white ones is because they don’t like all that silver and dark in there whenever they smile. Some people have accumulated many silver fillings over the years, and every time they smile or sometimes even talk, it is clearly visible.
Make sure you keep an eye on your amalgam fillings for any signs of cracks or breakage. There are some cosmetic dental experts in Beverly Hills who believe removing the silver fillings can release even more mercury than keeping them in, so if you end up taking this route make sure you ask questions to get all the facts. Otherwise, have them replaced if they are damaged, or if you want all white when you smile. If you are in the Beverly Hills area and need your fillings checked please contact the office of Arthur Glosman DDS.