Amalgam (Metal) Dental Fillings FAQs

Dental Filling Charlotte, NC

An amalgam dental fillings is also known as a silver filling. It looks like it is pure silver, but it is a mixture of various metals. Amalgam is the most inexpensive type of filling. Although it is popular, many people still want to know more about it. If you want to understand what an amalgam filling is, the following are FAQs and their corresponding answers.

What is a true amalgam dental filling?

Zinc, copper, tin, silver, and mercury make up an amalgam dental filling. This type of filling is also called a silver filling because of its color. Despite the various metals in it, an amalgam dental filling is composed of 50% mercury. This is a popular type of dental filling because of its durability and cost-effectiveness.

Why is there a growing concern over amalgam dental fillings?

The majority of amalgam’s ingredients are made up of mercury because of its pliability. Mercury is an element found in a natural environment. It is because of this element that many people worry about having amalgam fillings. Mercury is toxic.

Are amalgam metal fillings harmless to use or handle?

Amalgam fillings tend to release certain amounts of mercury in vapor or gas form. There may be an increase in mercury vapor exposure during the placement or removal of amalgam fillings. Patients who have several amalgam fillings might have elevated levels of mercury in urine. Many people express concerns about using amalgams. However, the FDA still considers it as a relatively harmless type of dental filling.

Who should not have dental amalgam?

Women who are pregnant or plan to have children, kids under six, and lactating mothers cannot have amalgam fillings. Those with kidney dysfunction, mercury allergy, and neurological disorders may suffer from the adverse effects of mercury. The FDA does not recommend vulnerable people to have amalgam fillings. Instead, high-risk patients should consider other dental filling treatments.

Should patients with amalgam dental fillings go through a filling removal?

Dentists do not recommend patients to go through an amalgam filling removal if there are no signs of decay underneath the filling. Doing so results in the loss of healthy tooth components. It also exposes the patient and dental staff to high levels of mercury vapor. The amalgam filling should stay intact unless there is a medical condition, such as kidney disease or mercury allergy.

What are other dental filling options?

Other dental fillings are available for patients who cannot have amalgam fillings. Glass ionomers, composite resin, porcelain, and ceramic are good alternatives. These fillings are tooth-colored and can blend well with natural teeth. Patients can also use these fillings along the front of the teeth because each can blend with the color of natural teeth. Speaking with the dentist about which alternative makes deciding easier.

An amalgam dental filling might be the right choice for you

People choose amalgam fillings because they are durable and inexpensive. These fillings also help prevent gaps when permanent teeth start to erupt in young children. Amalgam fillings are usually placed in the back of the mouth because they do not blend with the natural teeth. If you belong to a group that is vulnerable to the adverse effects of mercury, another alternative would be better for you, however.

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