Amalgam fillings are used to treat cavities and are made of dental amalgam, a mixture of copper, silver, tin, and mercury which appears to be “silver-coloured” to many people. They have been a part of dental work for over 100 years.
Amalgam fillings come in handy in several different dental situations, including:
There are many reasons why amalgam fillings have been in use for decades. Some of those reasons are:
Just like any other dental treatment, amalgam fillings are not perfect. A couple of disadvantages of amalgam fillings include:
Many patients are concerned about the safety of amalgam fillings due to the presence of mercury in the combination of metals. While it is true that mercury can be toxic to humans in high enough concentrations, the amount of mercury used in amalgam fillings is neutralized by the presence of the other three metals, rendering the amalgam totally safe and stable for use in dental work.
There are several professional organizations that vet the use of amalgam fillings for dentistry, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the American Dental Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and more. Though there have been many research studies surrounding this topic, no scientific evidence has been found that amalgam fillings are unsafe.
If our patients express hesitancy to get amalgam fillings, our Empress Walk Dental dentists are trained to evaluate the patient’s needs and explore alternative treatments with which the patient may be more comfortable. It is never our desire to cause our patients anxiety or discomfort.