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Amalgam Fillings: How Safe Are They?


Amalgam is a typical material utilized to cover cavities. Fillings from amalgam are called silver fillings. Through the years, there have been series of concerns regarding amalgam usage because of the mercury present in it. Amalgam is made up of metals combined and popularly used as a filling material because it is more durable than ceramic fillings. In spite of the fact that it is sometimes referred to as silver amalgam, it is made up of a blend of metals such as copper, tin, mercury, and silver. Palladium, indium, and zinc may likewise be utilized. The presence of tooth-colored materials is utilized to restore teeth. Amalgam is more affordable compared to other materials.

Is Amalgam Safe?
A large number of individuals have amalgam fillings. However, there have been concerns regarding the mercury used in amalgam. Various studies on the safety of amalgam fillings have been conducted. In 2009, an examination was performed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The organization did not have any reason to restrain the utilization of amalgam. The FDA presumed that amalgam fillings could be used not only for adults but also for children six years old and above.

Why Use Mercury in Amalgam?
Mercury is utilized in amalgam due to its pliability as a filling material. When it is combined with an alloy powder, a soft compound is created. The soft compound is pressed into the cavity and hardens quickly. It withstands any force created by chewing and biting and is therefore much more durable than composite fillings.

Mercury in Amalgam: The Controversy
Mercury is a type of metal present in the environment. It can be in the form of a liquid, such as those found in thermometers, or it can also take the form of a gas when heated. Mercury is also used in combination with other materials. Since mercury is present in the environment, everyone is exposed to it through the drinking water, food, air, and soil. One of the many concerns about mercury is its quantity level in fish due to pollution. Mercury gets into the air we breathe from industries responsible in burning fuels that contain mercury. Over time, mercury accumulates in the vital organs of the body. Exposure to mercury can result in various symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, and memory loss and physical complaints. 
The controversy behind amalgam is centered on some mercury fillings and the potential leakage of mercury into the body. Mercury from dental amalgams appears to be one of the most, if not the most, potent disrupters of oxygen metabolism in the oral cavity. Previously, amalgam fillings were believed to be inert. This means that there is no mercury released when the filling is placed in the cavity. In the past years, sophisticated examinations have altered this perception. The very minute quantity of mercury in vapor form is discharged as the amalgam filling begins to wear off. During the removal process of amalgam, drilling heats up the filling and the vapor released is toxic for the dentist and patient.

Alternatives to Amalgam
At present, there is a dental amalgam containing Indium and mercury. Indium helps in retaining mercury so that only a small amount is released in the environment. Aside from this, there are likewise high-copper amalgams and amalgams that contain more copper and less mercury. Dentists utilize other materials to regain the teeth appearance. These encompass but not limited to the following: gold, porcelain, and resin. Amalgam has a stronger quality compared to the composite resin and needs less time to get completed. On the other hand, composite resin is considered to be a tooth-colored material and wears faster compared to amalgam. Hence, composite resin is seldom used.

When to Remove Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings must be replaced when they are broken or worn or when decay starts to develop underneath the filling. It is highly advisable to remove amalgam fillings when you are advised to undergo a thorough heavy metal detox or with chronic diseases.
Speak to a holistic dentist about the pro and cons of amalgam fillings and their potential risks for your health.

   
 
 
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