Today, more than ever, we are very conscious about what we put into our bodies. People tend to eat healthier and take better care of themselves than in the past. While we are more aware of how various factors and materials affect our bodies, dental amalgam concerns are at an all-time high. Metal amalgam fillings are composed of several types of metal, including harmful mercury. It has been confirmed that mercury fillings release trace amounts of toxic vapor into your body when you eat, brush your teeth, and otherwise exert any pressure.
An amalgam filling also called a silver filling, is composed of metals, including mercury, tin, silver, zinc, and copper. While the term ‘silver filling’ implies that these fillings are composed primarily of silver, the reality is that they are composed of about 50% mercury. This is because mercury has unique chemical properties, which help to bind metals together for a durable filling that can be used to fill cavities.
Mercury has been a part of amalgam fillings since the 1800s and has courted controversy for most of that time. Although mercury is proven to be toxic, it is estimated that over 100 million Americans are currently walking around with an amalgam filling. If you are one of many Americans with an amalgam filling in your mouth, you should know that a small amount of toxic mercury is released as vapor into your body every time you chew or bite down on it.
Some negative side effects of mercury being released into the body can include:
Current research is being conducted that can now link mercury-containing amalgam fillings to serious health problems, including infertility, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
While there is debate about how much mercury in an amalgam filling actually affects the human body, the real question is, “Why risk it?”. One fact that is not debatable is that mercury is toxic. So why walk around with this toxic substance in your mouth? While the ADA will not come out and declare that the mercury in an amalgam filling is toxic, many people are still seeking out their local dentist to have amalgam fillings removed and replaced with metal-free composite resin fillings.
Removing an amalgam filling requires excellent skill and a careful eye due to the amount of mercury vapor released when removing a filling. Making sure you find a skilled dentist with expertise in this task is critical to protect you from the dangers that can be present when this task is not done correctly.