Are you concerned about the safety of silver-colored dental fillings, known as amalgam fillings? Because these types of tooth fillings include the dangerous material, mercury, some people worry that they may contribute to several diseases, including autism, Alzheimer's disease, and even multiple sclerosis.
However, the American Dental Association (ADA)
, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and multiple public health organizations, have declared that amalgam dental fillings are safe, and concerns about these mercury-based dental fillings causing health problems are misguided; especially in the case of autism, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis, where the true cause is still unknown.
As recently as March of 2002, the FDA reconfirmed the safety of amalgams. Regardless of the fact that amalgams do include mercury, when they are mixed with various metals, for example, silver, copper, tin, and zinc, they create a stable alloy which dental professionals have used for more than 100 years in order to fill and protect hundreds of millions of corroded teeth.
Along with concerns about the safety of the fillings themselves, there has additionally been concern over having these silver-colored fillings removed. Some worry about the discharge of a tiny volume of mercury vapor coming from these types of fillings. Again, according to the ADA, there is no scientific confirmation that this little portion can result in adverse health effects.
It may be possible to have an allergic reaction to amalgam fillings, though less than one hundred cases of this have ever been reported as happening. In these sparse circumstances, an allergy to one of the metals in the filling was thought to be the cause of the reaction. People who have metal allergies (such as skin allergies) should let their dentist know.
There's little reason to worry if you currently have amalgam fillings, or are looking at having them replaced. Modern dentistry now offers composite fillings as an alternative, as well, such as the tooth-colored fillings provided by Dr. Hill
. If you have any questions about silver or tooth-colored fillings, get in touch with our office