Many people have asked me whether silver fillings are poisonous, and the answer is NO! Silver fillings have a small amount of mercury in them, which if consumed in large quantities, can be toxic. There have been countless studies to determine if the small amount of mercury in the fillings can cause an issue with your health and they have all proven that it has no effect on your health. There is a small amount of mercury that is released from the fillings, as you eat, however, this small amount is negligible and has absolutely no consequences. In fact, if you eat more than 2 portions of seafood a week, you are consuming much more mercury than you would with a mouth full of silver fillings!
What are the alternatives to silver fillings?
The alternative to silver amalgam fillings is white fillings which are made from a resin material. These are tooth coloured and the cosmetics achieved can be outstanding. These are considered better than silver fillings, as they bond to tooth structure well, and look great.
White fillings vs silver?
Silver fillings have had a record of longevity and are strong which is why (in some situations) they are ideal for back teeth. The other advantages are that they are easier and quicker to do, and therefore, cheaper than alternatives. White fillings require the area to be absolutely dry, and sometimes this is not possible when the filling extends below the gum level. In these cases, silver fillings are the best.
What are silver fillings made of?
Mercury – 50%
Silver – 23%
Tin – 14%
Copper – 8%
Other metals – 5%
If amalgam is safe, why have other countries banned it?
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany have all banned or restricted the use of dental amalgam. This was mainly due to environmental reasons, as mercury disposal can accumulate in water and affect wildlife.
What if I do not want to have an amalgam filling?
Our team at Sensational Smiles believes that the patient comes first. Our philosophy is to explain the pros and cons of all the treatment options and then let you decide which one is best for you. We will make recommendations on what we believe would be the best treatment, but you, the patient, are always in the driver seat and ultimately will make the decision. Most fillings we place now are white fillings, which are mercury free.
Can I have all my amalgam fillings replaced?
We would certainly be able to help with this if you understand the risks and benefits. If you are considering getting this done, please book an appointment with us and we can advise you on the pros and cons. In addition, we have special equipment here at Sensational Smiles to remove silver fillings and to minimise mercury exposure.