Disadvantages of Silver Amalgam Fillings
For 200 years, silver amalgams fillings have established a solid track record in durability and cost effectiveness. Almost every person has had at least one or two mercury fillings. An amalgam filling is a mixture of silver, tin, zinc, copper and mercury, where mercury is nearly 50% of the mixture. Mercury is used to bind metals together and makes it possible for the mixture to be easily manipulated to fill a tooth cavity.
Many dentists still prefer working with them because they’re easiest to work with compared to other alternatives. However, they have many drawbacks. Silver amalgam fillings are easily noticeable and less attractive than tooth colored composite resin fillings, even though most of the time they’re placed at the back of the mouth. Over time, their color can tarnish and cause discoloration of the amalgam tooth where the amalgam meets the tooth. Many people have reported increased sensitivity after an amalgam filling placement due to the metal expanding and contracting according to temperature changes. This can cause micro fractures and cracks within the tooth. Placing a silver amalgam fillings also requires the removal of a healthy part of the tooth, which ultimately makes it weaker and fragile.
Even though there were numerous findings about the harmful effect of mercury amalgams, only recently, in the 80s and the 90s, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark have banned the use of mercury amalgams. Starting July 1, 2018, amalgam use will be banned for children under 15 and for pregnant or nursing women in all countries of the European Union. Canada already has established guidelines for dentists discouraging the use of mercury amalgams on women and children.
CV Dental Care is a mercury-free practice. Not only do we care about your smile, but also about the role your mouth plays in your overall health. There are many choices of dental materials, treatments, and alternatives to traditional dentistry we offer to our patients, as we believe that everyone deserves a high quality of dental care.