Dental amalgam fillings are one of the most durable and robust treatments for tooth cavities. It is also known as silver amalgam filling or silver fillings; for about 150 years, amalgam fillings have been prevalent because amalgam fillings cost is slightly low, and they are soft enough to remodel to the shape and size of the tooth cavity. But the white amalgam fillings are more expensive than ordinary amalgam fillings.
But, according to recent studies, amalgam tooth fillings have some possible harmful effects because mercury and other composition exposure can cause severe health effects in the human body. So the use of amalgam fillings for teeth has been decreasing because it does not stick to the tooth’s surface. Are you also looking for the dangers of amalgam filling? You should keep reading this article to get the best answers to your queries and the best alternative type you can use.
What Materials Used in Amalgam Fillings?
Amalgam fillings for teeth are a composition of one part elemental mercury and one part of silver, copper, tin, or other metals. In the amalgam fillings procedure, the paste-like dental amalgam is set on the tooth and firmly pressed to fill the tooth cavity and make the tooth as strong as possible. There is about 50% of mercury in every amalgam filling.
Do Dentists Still Use Amalgam?
Recently, dental amalgam has been declining day by day because of its possible severe side reactions. The dentist reduces the use of amalgam and composite tooth fillings because of the danger of mercury exposure and the development of composite fillings that are more durable, strong, and do not require more drilling. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also banned its use because of the amalgam filling side effects.
How Long Dental Amalgam Fillings Stay?
In past years, amalgam fillings were the first way to treat tooth cavities because they lasted for approximately 10 to 15 years; however, some dental amalgams also lasted for up to 20 to 25 years.
What are the Effects of Mercury?
There are different types of mercury, such as elemental mercury, inorganic mercury, and methyl mercury. Elemental mercury and methyl mercury are the most toxic for the human body, which can cause side reactions that may be severely harmful to the nervous system and the brain. Following are the risk of amalgam fillings leaking symptoms.
- Defective mental function
- Loss in coordination
- Sleeping difficulty
- Muscle stiffness and weakness
- Issues with peripheral vision
- Impaired movement, hearing, and speech
- Mood swings
- Memory problem
- Depression, anxiety
- Sensation in hands and feets
Are Amalgam Fillings Dangerous? What are the Amalgam Dangers?
As discussed above, amalgam filling has severe side effects, so dentists eliminate their use. Exposure to mercury and other metals can cause harmful effects on the brain, kidneys, and nervous system. These filings are very dangerous for children, pregnant women, and people with diabetes.
Amalgam filling side effects are:
- Mercury is toxic, and exposure to it can damage the cells of the nerves and cause severe damage to the nervous system.
- Amalgam filling dangers include the damage to organs like the brain and kidneys.
- The exposure of mercury turns into vapor which is very toxic for the human body and can cause neurobehavioral changes.
Can Amalgam Filling be removed?
Yes, amalgam fillings can be removed, and only specialist dentists can do this job well. Non-specialized dentists can increase removing amalgam filling’s side effects. It can also cause the dangers of removing amalgam fillings because the removal process can cause damage to the tooth structure. But to eliminate the risk of mercury exposure, you ask your dentist to remove it safely.
What is the Alternative to Mercury Fillings?
You can adopt amalgam fillings replacement as its alternative, which has slightly lower side effects than mercury fillings. Following are the safe alternatives of dental amalgam fillings, which you can ask your dentist to fill your tooth cavity.
- Porcelain is made of silicon and oxygen, which have fewer side effects.
- Composite Resin Fillings are the most favorable alternative to mercury fillings made of acrylic resin.
- Glass Ionomer made of silicate glass powder.
- Resin Ionomer is a composition of glass powder and acrylic resin.
Dental amalgam fillings have many severe side reactions because mercury and other composition exposure can damage human organs incredibly. So it is better to adopt an alternative which has less danger than it. The amalgam fillings replacement to its alternative is safer because they are not toxic.
Exposure to mercury vapor from amalgam fillings may lead to potential health risks, particularly in sensitive individuals. However, the amount of mercury released is generally minimal and is believed to be within the safe limits established by various regulatory authorities.
Symptoms associated with potential adverse reactions to amalgam fillings may include allergic reactions, oral lesions, neurological issues, or other systemic health problems. However, these symptoms are relatively rare, and any concerns should be discussed with a qualified healthcare professional.
Pregnant women, individuals with pre-existing neurological conditions, and those with known allergies to metals may be considered more susceptible to the potential risks associated with amalgam fillings. It is crucial for such individuals to consult with their healthcare providers before undergoing any dental procedures involving amalgam fillings.
There are various alternative materials used for dental fillings, including composite resins, porcelain, and gold. These materials are known for their aesthetic appeal and lack of mercury content, making them popular choices for individuals concerned about the potential risks associated with amalgam fillings.
Dental professionals take specific precautions to minimize the risk of mercury exposure during the placement and removal of amalgam fillings. This includes using high-volume suction, protective barriers, and providing patients with oxygen during the removal process.
If individuals suspect that their symptoms are related to their dental fillings, they should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. The dentist can conduct a thorough examination and may recommend tests or assessments to determine the cause of the symptoms.