Silver (Amalgam) Fillings

amalgamWhen deciding what type of filling you want in your mouth there are several things to consider, such as where the filling is located and why it is needed.  You and your dentist should decide together.  We feel both Amalgam (silver) and Composite (tooth-colored) are good options.

Amalgam (silver) fillings

Pros:

  • Very strong and durable
  • Highly resistant to wear
  • Long-lasting
  • Inexpensive
  • May inhibit bacterial activity around it

Cons:

  • Not as cosmetically pleasing as Composites
  • Transmits hot and cold readily, usually causing short-term sensitivity
  • Could expand or contract over time, which could cause tooth to crack
  • May leak trace amount of mercury vapor, which has not been proven to be harmful (see below)

Many studies have been conducted worldwide showing that if amalgam is mixed properly, the mercury vapor leaking over time within the mouth is well within safe limits and has not demonstrated any health consequences.  Bodily intake of mercury can often be much greater from eating fish or shellfish than from leaking amalgam.

According to major U.S. and international scientific and health organizations – including the American Dental Association, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization – dental amalgam is a safe, reliable and effective restorative material.