If you are like many people today, you probably have at least one silver tooth filling in your mouth. Known as an amalgam filling, it contains silver and other things, including mercury. In fact, it is estimated 120 million people in the U.S. have filling containing mercury. Due to the many health concerns associated with mercury, more and more people are starting to wonder if they need to get these fillings replaced with safer options. If this sounds like you, here are some things to consider when making your decision.
How Much Mercury is in My Filling?
In most cases, a typical silver filling will contain up to 50 percent of inorganic mercury. While any amount above 0 parts is technically considered a toxic level, it is important to remember that silver fillings with mercury have been used for well over 100 years, with few if any problems concerning mercury poisoning occurring.
Can the Fillings be Removed?
Yes. However, by doing so, you actually put yourself at greater risk of mercury exposure. When the fillings are removed, a dentist has to drill directly into the filling until it breaks apart, which can result in more mercury actually entering your body. If they are removed, it should be done only by a dentist who is certified in the process and has the specialized equipment needed for the procedure.
What Alternative Fillings are Available?
If you do remove your mercury fillings, they are most often replaced with composite resin, since this most closely matches the natural look of a tooth and is also very affordable for most patients.
If you have fillings you believe contain mercury and are concerned, you can always speak to a dentist about whether having them removed and replaced is necessary. To do so, schedule a consultation today.