Have you ever heard someone talk about amalgam fillings? This is a fancy word to describe the fillings that most people have in their mouths – silver fillings – but just how much do you know about them? Read on to expand your horizons.
Amalgam fillings are made out of a mix of mercury, copper, silver, and tin. About 50% of the compound is made of mercury, and this metal is needed to bind the rest of the components together to create a filling that is hard and durable. Without the mercury, the rest of the metals would not be able to bind together in a way that is easy to work with in a tooth.
The mercury found in dental amalgam is completely safe, as the chemical natures of this metal changes when it is combined with the other materials used to make amalgam. You’ll be exposed to considerably more mercury in the air, water, and your food.
With advances in the field of dentistry, white colored fillings are becoming more popular, but silver fillings are also still being used. Amalgam fillings are better for the molars than other materials, as they are durable and can withstand the biting forces that occur in the back of the mouth. Dental amalgam can be put into the tooth quickly, is affordable, and is a safe way to treat a cavity.
The rate of mercury allergies is less than 1% of the total population, but if you do suspect that you have an allergy you should be tested by your physician. If it is found that you do have an allergy to mercury, your dentist can help you to find an alternative option to treat your cavity.
At Crosby Smiles we use tooth colored fillings. Come to see your dentist in Anchorage, AK and get your fillings checked.