Allaying Your Fears About Silver Amalgam Teeth Fillings

There is a certain level of controversy surrounding silver amalgam used as teeth fillings in dentistry. This controversy arose after several people learned that the amalgam uses mercury to create its alloy compound. While mercury of itself is indeed toxic and potentially lethal, it has little effect on people when it is mixed with the other metals that create teeth fillings. Here are some other facts about silver amalgam that will help allay your fears.

The Mercury Is Equal Parts to Silver Alloy

The liquid mercury used to create filling material for cavities is equal parts silver alloy and mercury. The silver alloy is shaved off into the mercury until an equal balance of liquid and solid shavings is perfect and the silvery alloy dissolves into the mercury. It is then stirred into a paste to pack into the cavity of a tooth. In the silver alloy are other metals that help change the mercury and make it less toxic, which means that the amalgam overall is not as toxic as its one part.

Several Medical Boards and Special Interest Groups Label Amalgam as Safe

The material tamped into your fillings is safe. It has been approved for use by the FDA, as well as dozens of other medical boards and special interest groups. Even the Autism Society of America states that silver amalgam does not cause autism and is safe for use in kids and adults alike. Additionally, silver amalgam requires a dental bonding agent to stick to the cavity of a tooth, which means that the bonding agent is placed within the cavity first. It blocks the amalgam's access to the nerves and blood vessels while adhering the amalgam past to the spot and preventing it from coming loose and being swallowed.

The Incredibly Small Quantities of Mercury Used Cannot Hurt You

When you look at silver mercury in a thermometer, that amount could definitely kill you. However, the teeny-tiny amounts of liquid mercury used to make dental amalgam are so insignificant that you would have to A) have every tooth in your mouth drilled and filled, and B) have to swallow every last filling you have before you would be in mortal danger. Since that is an impossible thing to do, you can rest easy knowing that your teeth fillings are solidly staying put and cannot infect your body or your bloodstream or make you sick.

If you have any questions about teeth fillings, don't hesitate to ask your dentist on your next visit.