This is a valid concern when you’re about to have a foreign material permanently attached to your tooth. Metal (amalgam) fillings have been used for decades to repair teeth with cavities.
Does the latest clinical research prove that metal fillings are harmful? Getting the facts will help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
What Is In Metal Fillings?
Amalgam fillings combine liquid mercury with powdered forms of:
This material sets on its own soon after it is mixed.
What Research Supports
Mercury in this form can safely pass through the digestive tract if swallowed. It is usually only harmful if inhaled in high amounts. The mercury in these fillings can’t leach out at a rate that you can inhale a harmful amount. At present, entities including the WHO, FDA, and ADA all concur that amalgam can be safely used in tooth restoration.
In short, there is no clinical evidence that indicates that a metal filling has caused mercury poisoning. Metal fillings are safe!
Know Your Options
To put patient’s minds at ease, more and more dentists are offering tooth-colored, or composite, fillings. These fillings look much nicer than the metal ones and don’t contain any mercury. It is ultimately up to you to decide which you prefer.
Treating Tooth Decay Is Vital
You may still be a little anxious about having a filling done. Don’t let this stop you from seeking out treatment! Tooth decay is not something you can take lightly. It can lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss. A dental filling cleans out the decay and prevents it from advancing. Talk with your local dentist to learn more about the dental filling materials and procedures you have to choose from.
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