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Why Are Patients And Dentists Switching From Amalgam Fillings
Posted on 3/6/2023 by Aron Geelan, DMD
For years, amalgam fillings have been the most preferred and used among the different kinds of tooth fillings. However, in recent years, this has been changing. Dentists and patients are now considering white fillings which are considered more aesthetically appealing and safer than amalgam fillings.
What are Amalgam Fillings?
Also known as silver fillings, amalgam fillings comprise a mix of metals including silver, copper, tin, and others. They also contain mercury, which makes up roughly 50 percent of the amalgam restoration. Amalgam fillings are referred to as silver fillings due to their color.
Why Dentists are Steering Away from Silver Fillings
Recently, the FDA issued new recommendations regarding the use of silver fillings. The regulatory organizations found that some groups of people may be at a higher risk for possible harmful health effects due to the materials in the fillings.
For instance, the mercury favor released from the fillings could harm some individuals. The agency recommends that these people should avoid these fillings whenever possible. Pregnant women and those planning to get pregnant are among the groups considered at high risk. Children less than six years and those who have a pre-existing neurological condition such as Alzheimer's should also avoid amalgam fillings.
What are the Alternatives?
Dentists are using white fillings, often resin and ceramic, popularly known as composite and porcelain fillings, respectively. These alternative fillings to amalgam are more attractive. They mimic the color of the teeth and are safer than mercury-containing amalgam fillings.
Though people outside the groups considered at risk can still get amalgam fillings, many do not want them anymore. The reason is mainly due to the stigma associated with mercury. To discover more about amalgam fillings and their use, contact our dentist. We will discuss the pros and cons of each kind of fillings and guide you on what to choose.
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