Did you know that silver (otherwise known as mercury or amalgam) fillings are comprised of 50% mercury? Although these fillings have been utilized in the field of dentistry for the past century and a half, there is currently no known safe level of mercury exposure. And high mercury exposure has been linked with a plethora of serious health concerns. Here’s what you need to know about the possible effects of silver fillings.
What are silver fillings and why do they contain mercury?
Silver fillings are a very common dental material that contain around 50% mercury, a naturally occurring element in soil, water, and some fish. These fillings have been used by dentists on millions of patients since the nineteenth century as a cheap, pliable, and durable solution for those with tooth decay. However, with quality alternatives in abundance, many are turning away from amalgam.
Side effects and vulnerable populations
Mercury, in high levels, can have damaging effects on the body, impacting organs like the brain, liver, and kidneys. When absorbed by the body, mercury has been linked with neurological issues, kidney damage, impaired brain function, and harm to developing fetuses. It is important to consider your potential susceptibility to these health concerns as well as your current exposure to mercury if you have or are planning to receive silver fillings.
When you chew, a microscopic amount of mercury vapor is released from the filling into your body, which can lead to various problems for susceptible individuals. Children under the age of 6, those who suffer from nerve or kidney problems, or pregnant individuals may be especially vulnerable to the effects of excess mercury in the body. Along with environmental concerns, worry over mercury poising is one of the reasons several countries have banned this dental material—particularly among the most vulnerable populations.
While amalgam fillings used to be the gold standard in the dental field, they are not your only choice. We are happy to offer the safest, highest-quality options for your health and peace of mind. At Bowen Legacy Dental, we are committed to using only nontoxic dental materials, such as highly durable composite. The fillings you receive with us will never contain mercury. Rest assured, we take your health concerns seriously and are happy to help you make the best decision for your unique needs.
What to do if you have silver fillings
If you have a silver filling, you may want to consider your options, like having your filling(s) removed and replaced with a 100% nontoxic composite material. Because dentists handle mercury when removing these existing fillings, it is crucial that you choose an expert.
Dr. Gehlert is Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART) certified through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. Being SMART certified involves thorough coursework, testing, and post-course requirements regarding mercury-safe science, tools, equipment, and techniques. This rigorous certification helps us provide the safest possible mercury removal experience—for both our team and patients.
Talk with our Bowen Legacy Dental team to determine if removing your filling(s) is the best option for your health concerns. We’ll help you move forward with wellness and a smile! For any further questions or to schedule an appointment with our team, call us at 614-459-2300 today.