Something to Chew On…

Do you have a sweet tooth?  Chances are you are among the hundreds of millions of patients around the world who has had to have a dental amalgam or “silver filling” at some point in your life.  A Dental amalgam is used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay and is comprised of a mixture of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin and copper.  We all know that mercury is a toxic heavy metal, so is it safe to have in the fillings of our teeth?

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), “Dental amalgam has been demonstrated to be an effective restorative material that has benefits in terms of strength, marginal integrity, suitability for large occlusal surfaces, and durability.1 Dental amalgam also releases low levels of mercury vapor, a chemical that at high exposure levels is well-documented to cause neurological and renal adverse health effects.2 Mercury vapor concentrations are highest immediately after placement and removal of dental amalgam but decline thereafter.

Clinical studies have not established a causal link between dental amalgam and adverse health effects in adults and children age six and older. In addition, two clinical trials in children aged six and older did not find neurological or renal injury associated with amalgam use.3…”

Others are not so convinced.  In a recent article published at the author warns about the dangers of repeated inhalation and ingestion of mercury, through dental amalgams and recommends consulting a holistic dentist.  The primary concern is the total amount of mercury absorbed from all sources.  People who are exposed to mercury through their jobs, or who eat large amounts of seafood may want to avoid a dental amalgam.  If you are concerned about dental amalgams, discuss your options with your dentist.

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