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.
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
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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