What You Should Know About Amalgam Fillings in Lawrence, KS

Dental Amalgams

Amalgam is often used to fill cavities. These fillings, also referred to as silver fillings, have raised concerns about their use. That is because amalgam contains mercury. This combination of metals has been used as a filling material for the past 150 years. While amalgam may be called a silver filling, it is actually made of tin, copper, mercury, and silver. Small traces of indium, palladium, or zinc may also make up the filling.

Opting for Tooth-Colored Restorations

Instead of amalgam fillings in Lawrence, KS, many dental patients opt for tooth-colored fillings to restore teeth with cavities. Therefore, amalgam is normally not used a lot. However, the filling material is less expensive than other types of materials. It also holds up quite well, especially in teeth that sustain a good deal of wear or pressure from chewing.

What the FDA Has Found

Research on the safety or hazards of amalgam fillings has been conducted a great deal. In 2009, the U.S. FDA reviewed the research and found no reason to restrict the use of amalgam. The FDA found that the fillings could safely be used for anyone aged six or above. However, some health groups did ask the FDA to reconsider its finding.

Why Mercury Is Used in Amalgam Filling Materials

The mercury used in amalgam fillings makes the substance more pliable. All people, in fact, are exposed to a certain degree to mercury through the air they breathe, the water they drink, and in the soil and their food. The mercury released in the fillings is what concerns people the most. Very small amounts of the substance are released as a vapor as a filling wears down. Studies suggest that mercury exposure from fillings is less than what people contract in their food or their daily living environment.

Who to Contact in the Dental Field

If you still feel that you would rather replace your silver fillings or choose tooth-colored fillings instead, contact us for more information. See where you stand with respect to your overall dental health.

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