Fillings are useful dental tools to help with several issues. They fill gaps left by cavities and can provide a cosmetic solution too. A filling can help to preserve a tooth and prevent it from deteriorating any further. When you have a filling, it could be one that uses several different types of material. Many people have metal amalgam fillings. But other options include composite fillings and even glass fillings. Amalgam fillings are made from a mixture of metals, including silver, mercury, zinc, tin, and copper. Some people may have concerns about the mercury they contain. This article can give you some more information on how it could affect you.
Why Is Mercury Used in Fillings?
Mercury is just one of the ingredients often used in amalgam fillings. People who have concerns about the substance might wonder why it can’t just be removed. The reason it’s included in the metal mixture is the properties it lends it. Mercury helps to make the amalgam pliable so that it can be shaped into the filling. It is mixed with a metal alloy powder to make it soft. However, it also hardens quickly and can stand up to daily use in a filling. That makes it a useful material to include in amalgam fillings.
Are Amalgam Fillings Safe?
Many people have concerns about the safety of mercury in amalgam fillings. Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally, and we are all exposed to it in different ways. However, there is concern that some people might be exposed to too much mercury. There are differing opinions as to whether mercury fillings are safe. It used to be thought that amalgam fillings didn’t release and mercury into the body. We now know that they do release small amounts, which can contribute to the total amount of mercury a body is exposed to. The FDA considers amalgam fillings safe for anyone aged 6 and above. However, they are continually reviewing evidence, as some experts have asked them to reconsider.
What Issues Could Mercury Fillings Cause?
The issue that many people are concerned about with amalgam fillings is mercury overload. Overexposure to mercury could lead to weakness and tiredness, brain fog, numbness, and other symptoms. Many people who experience these symptoms believe that mercury overload is the cause and take steps to correct it. This could include replacing amalgam fillings with composite ones and eating less fish. Another risk of amalgam fillings is that some people might have an adverse reaction. It is possible to be allergic to mercury or another material in the filling.
What Other Factors Contribute to Mercury Overload?
The likelihood of being overexposed to mercury from amalgam fillings alone is small. However, other factors can contribute to it. For example, many people are concerned about rising levels of mercury in fish. Some people could also be at risk of too much mercury exposure due to their jobs.
Amalgam fillings pose a potential risk due to containing mercury. If you are uncertain, discuss the best filling to use with your dentist.