Every dentist in the Joondalup area has been asked at least once about whether amalgam fillings are safe and why they are used. Well-meaning people who don’t have facts at their disposal have dispensed a lot of false information about amalgam fillings.
The reason dentists are using amalgam fillings is because they are safe, reliable and reasonably-priced. Dentists have used amalgam fillings for over 100 years. They have proven to be efficient, reliable, safe and long-lasting. While many contend that amalgam fillings are unhealthy, there is no argument for that position backed by scientific fact.
Mercury: Fact or Myth?
The biggest myth about amalgam fillings is that they are unsafe because of their mercury content. Supposedly, the mercury from amalgam fillings seeps into your mouth and can represent significant risk to your health. However, it just doesn’t happen that way. It’s a myth. Here’s why.
Mercury is, indeed, part of amalgam fillings. However, mercury molecules bind with other “intermetallic compounds” such as tin, silver and copper. Once the amalgam filling has fully “set,” there is no liquid mercury present in the filling because it has bound to the other materials.
In 2009, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that they consider amalgam fillings to be safe for children six years of age and older. They stated that the amounts of mercury found in the bodies of people who had amalgam fillings were “well below the level for adverse health effects.”
Why Don’t Dentists Just Use White Fillings?
White fillings may look better, but they don’t last as long as amalgam fillings do. In addition, they are more expensive and more difficult to place in the tooth.
What About the Environment?
If an amalgam filling finds its way into the environment, it can eventually be broken down and release free mercury molecules. However, Australian Dental Association (ADA) standards recommend that we use devices to properly trap and dispose of any amalgam fillings when replacing fillings or extracting teeth. Ultimately, a dentist who adheres to ADA standards is not polluting the environment with mercury from amalgam fillings.
Contact our Dental Office
To learn more or for an appointment, call us today:(08) 9404 9500