Are Mercury Fillings Dangerous?

Dental amalgams commonly called silver fillings are composed of liquid mercury and a powder that contains silver, tin, copper, zinc and other metals. In 2009, the FDA issued its final regulation that “the mercury in dental amalgams is not at a level high enough to cause harm to patients.” The American Dental Association issued a statement agreeing with that. Included in the final regulation is the decision to classify dental amalgam as a Class II or moderate risk device, giving the FDA authority to impose special controls. Most dentists have discontinued using amalgam in lieu of the newer porcelain or white composite fillings.

California will not allow the placement of silver fillings in children under the age of 18 without parental approval. Several countries in the world have banned the placement of silver fillings. Silver fillings are mechanically held in place. When cracked or in larger fillings they can cause the tooth to split often causing damage to the nerve or even loss of the tooth itself. Porcelain or bonded fillings are sealed to the tooth and are a more conservative restoration as they don’t have to be placed as deep or as large. Finally, they are much more natural looking compared to the black or silver colored amalgams.

Very small silver fillings in good condition are not a potential risk either physically or for toxic reasons.

If you would like to make an appointment to have your amalgams removed please call, Dr. Alan Stanton’s office (713) 668-8383