Thanks to warnings about seafood, most of us are aware that mercury is toxic to humans, so why is it found in the fillings in our mouths? Metal fillings, also called amalgam, have been used in the United States since the 1830s, largely because they’re strong and cheap.
Here at Hillsdale Dental Care, Dr. Roge Jacob, Dr. Magdalena Azzarelli, and the rest of our team don’t believe that, “strong and cheap,” are good enough reasons to put mercury in the teeth of our patients. Instead, we offer mercury-free dentistry, which offers many benefits that extend beyond potential metal poisoning.
Are mercury fillings dangerous?
Metal or amalgam fillings are made up of several different metals, including mercury, tin, silver, and copper. The mercury accounts for about half the filling as it’s a liquid metal that bonds together the other elements, which are in powder form.
Since these fillings have been in use for almost 200 years, we have a long record to look back on to determine whether the mercury in these fillings pose a poisoning risk. The short answer is “No, there’s no evidence that the mercury in fillings is dangerous,” but we’re not satisfied with that answer.
Our view is that we’re exposed to so many harmful substances in our world that we should do what we can to avoid bioaccumulation. From car exhaust to chemical fumes, we’re constantly taking in harmful substances, so why add to this with fillings that contain mercury?
Instead, we offer composite fillings that effectively tackle dental caries caused by tooth decay, but contain no mercury.
The benefits of mercury-free fillings
Outside of reducing your exposure to toxic substances like mercury, our composite fillings offer a number of additional benefits, starting with the fact that they’re made up of materials that mimic the natural coloring of your teeth. These materials include glass, ceramics, and silica particles that are joined together by a tough resin. This means you won’t be flashing metal when you smile, as these fillings blend right in with your teeth.
Another benefit of composite fillings is that they don't react to extreme temps (hot and cold) like metal fillings. So, you can drink your coffee or iced slushie with confidence.
Composite fillings are also better for the structural integrity of your teeth. When we use these tooth restorations, we don’t need to remove as much of your tooth as we would when using amalgam fillings.
The bottom line is that we feel that our clients have everything to gain and nothing to lose with mercury-free composite fillings.
If you have more questions about our mercury-free dentistry, please contact our office in San Jose, California, to schedule a consultation.