Dental amalgam is a common material used to fill cavities. Fillings made with amalgam also are known as silver fillings.
Amalgam is a combination of metals that has been the most popular and effective filling material used in dentistry for the last 150 years. Although it sometimes is called “silver amalgam,” amalgam actually consists of a combination of metals. These include silver, mercury, tin and copper. Small amounts of zinc, indium or palladium also may be used.
Millions of people have amalgam fillings. Concern has been raised over the mercury in amalgam.
Many studies on the safety of amalgam fillings have been done. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluated this research. It found no reason to limit the use of amalgam. The FDA concluded that amalgam fillings are safe for adults and children ages 6 and above.
However, some groups asked the FDA to reconsider. That review is under way.
At Serenity, we do NOT provide amalgam filling due to environmental concerns and the availability of alternative filling material
Extensive studies from FDA proved that amalgam filling poses NO threat to your health and overall well-being if you are above 6 years old. Therefore, we do not recommended you replacing your amalgam filling, unless:
- The filling is damaged or not in good condition (chipped, leaked, broken, fractured, etc.)
- The filling is negatively affect your overall aesthetics
Is it safe to have your amalgam filling removed?
Removing amalgam filling need to be carried out under strict protocol. Under strict protocol, it should not cause any health issues.
The following protocol was implemented at our clinic:
- Keep the fillings cool during removal. Removing amalgam fillings generates a tremendous amount of heat, which causes a dramatic increase in the release of mercury, both as a vapor and in amalgam particles, during the entire removal process. Cooling the filling with water and air during this process dramatically reduces the amount of mercury vapor the filling releases. The technique used to remove the amalgam filling is called chunking, which the dentist sections the filling into several smaller chunks. They can then be easily removed by a hand instrument.
- High-volume evacuation (HVE). This is one of the most important tools in minimizing the patient’s exposure to mercury vapor and amalgam particles. A special suction tip is used to reduce the amount of aerosol spray and also helps capture more of the mercury vapor and particles.