Have you wondered…..
Are amalgam dental fillings safe?
Amalgam fillings, or silver fillings, are alloys of mercury mixed with other metals, like silver and tine, which are used for sealing a tooth cavity. Because of its low cost, strength and durability, it became a popular dental restorative filling since the 1800’s. However, over the years, there are many concerns about the amalgams’ safety, mainly because it contains mercury. And as well we all know, there are cases of mercury poisoning that may lead to serious health risks.
In a survey conducted in the US, about 72% of people did not know that silver fillings have mercury. After finding out, 92% of them said that they would have wanted to know any possible risks or issues with regard to amalgams before even getting them. Indeed, there are more and more people who are becoming aware of the possible problems that these dental fillings may cause. With possible high exposures to mercury vapor from amalgams, it may actually be a serious health concern for anybody who has these in their mouths.
The latest news about amalgam fillings, however, is that they are safe. The US FDA, with regard to amalgams, found out that amalgams are generally safe for adults and children with ages of 6 and above. However, amalgams were moved from the Class I low risk medical-device category, to the Class II moderate risk category. This would allow a tighter control over its use. In addition to such transfer, the FDA also addressed the public’s concerns about a potential mercury leak from the fillings, which may lead to neurological diseases. The levels in amalgam fillings are not high enough to cause such harm in patients, even if elemental mercury, at high exposures, is connected with serious health problems.
They are safe!
Today, amalgams are quite safe to be used as dental fillings. They provide a cost-effective solution compared to other materials such as composites or porcelain. Statistics show that mercury vapors from amalgams do not have any direct effect on various diseases, such as cancer or mental conditions, so patients should not need to worry. However, it is always best to ask your dentist for other filling alternatives if you feel uneasy having amalgam fillings in your mouth.