Silver Filling or Mercury

Silver Fillings or Mercury Fillings really ?


The use of “silver” fillings is a controversial topic in dentistry. The term “silver fillings” is actually quite misleading as the constituents of these fillings are an amalgam, or mixture, of different metals including mercury, tin. copper and silver. Therefore the term amalgam is more accurate when it comes to describing these fillings. The reason these fillings are such a hot potato in dentistry is due to the fact that mercury is a constituent of the amalgam. Mercury has long been known to be a potent neurotoxin since the times of Emperor Qin Shi Huang who is said to have died from ingesting mercury in hopes that it would somehow confer immortality. More recently, speculation has arisen that mercury may be the hidden cause of all sorts of different side effects.

There are those out there who believe that the mercury found in amalgam fillings. vaccine preservatives and contaminated fish play a role in the development of various neurological disorders including those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. There are some dentists who hold this view very lightly, while other dentists are strongly opposed to the use of amalgam fillings.

Although the general trend in private practice is now moving toward phasing out these amalgam fillings, there are still old-school dentists and those outside the country who are using this toxic substance without admitting to their patients that there may be the possibility of side effects. People have differing sensitivities to substances, and what may affect one person tremendously, may not affect another in the same way.

If you just so happen to be one of those people who are hypersensitive to their surroundings, you may experience side effects such as nausea, headache or even migraine directly after the placement and/or manipulation of an amalgam filling in the mouth. This can take place even if the dentist has extra carefully used a suction tip to remove any remaining traces. It is well known that mercury vaporizes, and when we breathe in that vapor, we become susceptible to the effects.

Interestingly enough, even when a person chews, clenches or grinds their teeth, there is a release of mercury from their amalgam fillings. This can be confirmed by using an electronic testing device that is able to sense and measure the amount of trace mercury vapor release within the air. Surmounting evidence suggests that mercury exposure leads to various neurological disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, which becomes increasing important for those individuals who are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or are currently nursing. Exposure from the amalgam fillings in the mouth of the mother, has a route to the child and therefore places the unborn baby at risk.

Another alarming observation is that patients are unknowingly swallowing small peices of these amalgam fillings during the time the restoration is being placed, replaced or refined. As soon as an operator takes a drill to the amalgam, small glittery flakes cover the patient’s mouth and it is virtually impossible to remove every last speck from the patient’s oral cavity, especially the back of the throat. Even if the dental provider is following standardized protocol, the unfortunate end result is that the patient ends up swallowing some of the material as well as being exposed to mercury vapor from the amalgam.

This is why it is always in good judgement to think twice about a dental professional who flat out denies the possibility of side effects. Is your dental health care provider willing to elaborate more on the subject? How do you feel about the filling you are about to receive? When in the dental chair, don’t hesitate to ask about your options. There are numerous different restorative materials out there including resin composite known as “white” fillings as well as noble metal “gold” restorations.

Do your research and take the power back into your own hands. Once you have done your own research, you can formulate a list of questions for your dental health care provider, so that you may come to an agreement together over which dental material to use.