At Designer Smiles FL in Coral Springs, FL, we receive many questions regularly on the use of amalgam fillings. As people become more concerned about their health, questions about mercury-containing products start to appear. This is something we encourage here at Designer Smiles FL. The more involved people are in their health, the better the outcomes.
Dental fillings are dental materials used to fill cavities. When a person gets a cavity, the damage can’t be undone. What we can do, however, is to use a filling to occupy that cavity and prevent the problem from getting worse.
The application of a filling requires cleaning and debriding the cavity from any dead tissue and bacteria first. Fillings have to be applied to clean cavities for the treatment to work and to prevent the decay from recurring. Naturally, local anesthesia is used to numb your mouth through all this. These are procedures we perform every day and have plenty of experience with.
Many materials can be used to create fillings. There are amalgam, gold, composite, and ceramic fillings. Gold fillings are expensive, highly durable, but mostly used for hind teeth. Composite or ceramic fillings have the same color as the rest of your teeth, making them impossible to identify. They’re used for front teeth where we care more about the cosmetic outcome.
Amalgam fillings are durable and last for years. They’re also relatively cheap. Their association with mercury, however, has raised concerns and prompted an investigation into their safety.
Amalgam fillings release small amounts of mercury vapor over time that is inhaled through the lungs. Due to recent concerns, the FDA has reviewed all the recent research and data and concluded that amalgam fillings are safe in adults and children ages six and older.
They’re also safe in breastfeeding women, and the amount of mercury reaching breast milk is almost negligible. We’re not entirely sure if they’re safe for children under the age of 6 and pregnant women (and their babies). There hasn’t been enough research so far regarding these areas of concern.
If you have any questions, feel free to call or visit us at any time, and we’d be more than happy to help. Make an appointment with a dentist near you.