What Is Dental Amalgam?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015, 12:11 am

Dental amalgam is the mercury based silver filling material that has been in use for about 200 years. Dental amalgam has been banned in some countries around the world but is still in use in some dental offices in the United States.

You will never find dental amalgam at Wilbanks Smile Center, unless it is an old filling being removed from a patient so it can be replaced with a modern filling material.

Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury (a known neurotoxin), silver, and several other metals. Dental amalgam fillings tend to expand and contract when exposed to heat or cold – think of drinking coffee or eating ice cream. This constant expansion and contraction can cause damage to the surrounding tooth and creates small cracks in the filling. This allows bacteria to enter and eventually leads to decay below the filling.

New tooth colored filling materials not only avoid the look of the ugly black filling, they also serve to strengthen the damaged tooth rather than creating further damage.

Want another reason to avoid dental amalgam? How about the environment? Some estimates say that dental mercury results in over 28 tons of mercury being released into the environment each year! Dentists who remove old mercury fillings from patients use special filtration systems to capture this toxic waste in an attempt to reduce the impact on the environment.

Yet another reason why Wilbanks Smile Center doesn’t provide mercury based amalgam fillings – our own health! We don’t want to be exposed to a toxic substance like mercury every day of our working lives and we don’t think our patients should be exposed to this risk either.

If you have old mercury amalgam fillings it may be time to replace some of them. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777.

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Category: cavities, Mercury Free Dentistry


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