Are Amalgam Fillings Safe?

May 31, 2017 | Posted in Education

Commonly used to fill cavities is a material called dental amalgam. Cavities filled with amalgam are also known as silver fillings. Amalgam fillings contain mercury, which raises some concerns, but should you really be worried?
 
Amalgam is a combination of metals including silver, tin, mercury, and copper. Small amounts of other metals may also be included. Nowadays, new tooth coloured materials are usually used to fill cavities. At the Rideau Dental Centre, we monitor the condition of existing amalgam fillings and if it is deemed that they are fractured or leaking, we opt to remove and replace them with alternative materials.
 
Many studies have been done about the effects of mercury in amalgam fillings, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration came to the conclusion that there was no need to limit the use of amalgam fillings, and that they are safe for people ages six and above. Like most substances, the danger posed by mercury to the body is proportional to the amount. At low, natural levels, there is no danger. Studies have shown that the amount of mercury the body is exposed to due to the slow breakdown of amalgam fillings is less than the amount that people are exposed to in their normal food and drink.
 
At the Rideau Dental Centre, we have not used amalgam in over 20 years due to advancements in technology. If you have any questions about amalgam fillings or any other dental topics, feel free to contact us by calling 613-230-7475.