Is it safe to get dental amalgam fillings?
Although the binding material used for amalgam fillings is mercury, getting a traditional metal filling poses no identifiable threat to health.
Amalgams have been used in dentistry for over a century; so any problems with the mercury in fillings would have surfaced long ago. While this is no guarantee of safety. There have also been a range of medical studies conducted over the years in which there have been no clearly observed adverse health problems.
Every time a foreign substance is added to the body for a therapeutic reason, there will be an element of risk. That’s why there are warnings on packages for our medications including headache tablets, surgeons want to know about any allergies you have before an operation and cosmetics have label warnings.
With regards to amalgams and mercury, dentists are exposed to the substance far more often than someone with this type of filling and there have never been any clinically demonstrable effects to dental professionals.
The benefits of amalgam fillings are clearly apparent – such as the strength of the filling and the reasonable cost to the patient. The dental profession continues to put in place procedures that even further reduce any risks to patients.
There are some people who can be sensitive to the various components in amalgam but this is no more unusual than allergies to other chemical substances or foods.
Why would my dentist recommend not having an amalgam filling?
Your dentist is likely to hesitate in using amalgam for a patient who has a compromised immune system, suffers from a neurological condition or has impaired kidney function. While amalgams are not linked to these conditions. With the case of impaired kidney function, there is evidence that the burden of mercury (even in a microscopic dose) can be concerning with these people’s condition.
Workers exposed to an occupational exposure of heavy metals might be contra-indicated, as well as people who are exposed to higher levels of mercury than the average person, such as people who have diets very high in seafood.
Gold alloy inlay castings may be suggested as a substitute by your dentist, however the cost of the materials and procedure can be very expensive. In which case a resin or porcelain inlay may be something your dentist will discuss as an alternative.
Research continues into other durable alternatives to amalgam fillings even though they have proven to be a safe way to fill a cavity.Leave a reply →