How Safe Are Amalgam Fillings (Silver Fillings)?

Even though amalgam, or silver, fillings have been used for over 150 years, controversy still remains regarding the safety due to the mercury they contain. David Buran Dentistry wanted to share some answers to frequently asked questions to help understand amalgam fillings, as well as the safety of them.

What is amalgam?

Dental amalgam is a material used to fill cavities. It is a combination of metals, including elemental (liquid) mercury, silver, tin and copper. The mercury (liquid) is mixed with the silver, tin and copper (alloy powder) producing a safe, strong, long-lasting durable filling.

Why is mercury a concern?

Dental amalgams release very low levels of mercury in vapor form that can be absorbed by the lungs. The concern of amalgam fillings is the amount of mercury the fillings release and how much of it is absorbed by the body.

How safe are dental amalgams?

Many scientific studies conclude amalgam fillings are safe and effective. The conclusions from these extensive studies have been confirmed by the American Dental Association (ADA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additionally, other science-based organizations, such as The Alzheimer’s Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Autism Society of America and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, agree on the safety of dental amalgam. The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine states studies prove that most people, daily, are exposed to more mercury, whether in their surroundings or food they consume, than the amount released from amalgam fillings.

Should amalgam fillings be removed?

Amalgam fillings should not be replaced unless they are worn, broken or decay is present. This can result in unnecessary removal of healthy tooth structure, as well as the release of mercury vapors.

Remember: Prevention is the key!

• Brush teeth twice a day

• Floss daily

• Eat a healthy diet

• Have regular dental check-ups!

David K Buran Dentistry