To preserve your teeth from age eight to age seventy-eight and beyond, you will undoubtedly have to have a few cavities filled. However, silver amalgam is controversial in that it is mixed with very small amounts of mercury, and patients are concerned that a mouth full of silver amalgam cavity filler could cause serious health problems.
If you are one of these patients and you already have several teeth filled with silver amalgam, there are things you can do and request of your dentist to limit the amount of mercury involved:
Replace Your Silver Amalgam Fillings
Many dentists have switched over to tooth-colored resins to avoid the concerns and controversy surrounding silver amalgam. Regardless of the added expense, many parents request tooth-colored resins for their children's teeth, rather than the silver. Some insurance plans cover resins, which allows you and your children to have all of your cavities replaced with resin. Essentially, your dentist numbs your mouth as though he or she is going to fill a cavity, but instead, removes the amalgam and replaces it with resin instead.
Request a Different Filler
There are many other fillers for cavity repair and protection. Plastic resins are the cheapest, especially if you have to pay the difference out-of-pocket because your insurance will not cover them. The other types of dental fillers are:
- Ceramic (the same used in making dental crowns)
- Gold (very popular with the hip-hop crowd)
- Glass ionomers (which are only used if a patient is allergic to metals and the ingredients in the dental ceramic, or are used as a pre-filler underneath other fillers)
If your dentist is skilled in using any of the above and has the above fillers on hand, you can request that he or she use them instead of amalgam. Just be sure to ask what the price difference is so you do not have sticker shock when it comes time to pay the bill.
Addressing Additional Concerns About Mercury and Your Teeth
If you want to be absolutely certain that the very small amounts of mercury in your fillings are not poisoning you, have your family doctor run a blood panel for this heavy metal. Although silver amalgam is made up of fifty percent elemental mercury, it is not the metal but the vapors that draw concern by most patients. Even though silver amalgam is approved for safe use by the FDA, the FDA also restricts its use in pregnant women and people with sensitivities or compromised immune systems.
To learn more, contact a company like MyoTech Dental & Implant Center with any questions you have.Share