Technically, mercury fillings consist of a combination of metals, including silver, tin, copper and of course, mercury. Small amounts of palladium, indium and zinc are also used, but not always. Of this combination of materials, it is the mercury that, when mixed with alloy powder, allows the filling material to be soft enough to mix and press into the teeth. At the same time, however, the compound hardens quickly and is durable enough to withstand the constant pressure of daily activities, such as biting and chewing.
Because of how it’s been in use for more than a hundred years, mercury fillings have been used in patients far more times than any other material. However, in recent years, the safety of the use of mercury has been questioned. The United States Food and Drug Administration has stated that there’s no reason to limit the use of mercury and have come to the conclusion that the fillings are safe for both adults, as well as children above the age of 6.
So, if you already have mercury fillings in your teeth, you don’t have to worry about having them removed. Doing so can cause do more harm than good and may even release more mercury. You only need to worry about having them removed when the teeth are already worn out, broken or if there’s decay present beneath the filling.
For other alternatives, you can choose from a wide variety of materials, such as composite resin, porcelain and gold. Be sure to talk to your dentist about your concerns regarding the use of dental amalgam, as well as whether the alternatives to mercury fillings would be right for your particular case.
If you have questions or concerns regarding mercury fillings, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada, DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.
Proudly serving Manhattan Beach and all surrounding areas.