Nowadays, there seems to be a lot of fuss over what is used in tooth fillings. Amalgam fillings have emerged as one of the more popular varieties yet there is widespread concern regarding their safety. Are these fillings really safe? Let’s take a look at the safety of amalgam dental fillings to help you figure out exactly what type of fillings you should get.
All About Amalgam Fillings
You can easily recognize amalgam dental fillings as the silver colored fillings that grab your attention when people open their mouths. They have a combination of liquid mercury, copper alloy, tin and powdered silver. Amalgam fillings are also referred to as simply “silver” or “mercury” fillings.
Why Mercury is Used in Amalgam Fillings
Dentists have been using mercury dental fillings for over a century and a half. Amalgam fillings are highly desired by dentists because they are soft and can be easily molded. Mercury binds the amalgam and metals together for a reliable filling that will not break across posterity. If the mercury were not present in the filling, it could not be sculpted for a perfect fit and the patient might end up with a flawed bite that requires even more dental work.
The Questionable Safety of Amalgam Fillings
Those who question the safety of mercury fillings believe that they can cause health issues in fetuses as well as young children. These individuals claim that exposure to mercury can cause allergic reactions or possibly a malady that is even worse. The FDA has only gone as far as acknowledging that amalgam fillings release very minor amounts of mercury vapor that patients can inhale. Yet in 2009, the FDA found that these levels were so low that they did not constitute any serious health threat. The FDA also found that the level of mercury in breast milk created by amalgam fillings in the mother was likely not dangerous for infants.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) statement in 2009, amalgam dental fillings have been declared as safe for the majority of adults as well as kids over the age of 6. The organization’s statement also applies to all dental fillings containing mercury along with an array of other metals. Yet this statement conflicts with the findings of the FDA’s advisory panel in 2010. This group along with a collection of esteemed dental health experts joined together to review whether amalgam fillings are indeed safe. While these experts upheld the 2009 ruling declaring the fillings to be safe, they also requested that the FDA proceed to study the safety of these fillings more in-depth in the upcoming years.
While there is no proven or hard science to show that amalgam fillings are in any way toxic or dangerous, the mere fact that the FDA has requested even more research on this controversial topic is cause for concern. It is also important to note that the FDA chose to reclassify dental mercury from its original class I device status (low risk) to a class II device (increased risk) in the summer of 2009. This means the fillings require certain considerations and patients must be cautioned about the risks.
Mercury-Free Dental Solutions at Nicholas Dental Care
There are a number of legitimate concerns regarding the safety of amalgam fillings. While the American Dental Association and the FDA agree that these fillings to do not present a clear and present threat to one’s health, there are other tooth filling solutions available that are unquestionably healthier. Nicholas Dental Care is proud to offer mercury-free dental solutions that will give you and your family the peace of mind that you deserve.