Fillings, Cavities and Dental Amalgam
For fillings and cavities, dental amalgam has a 150-year proven track record as one of the safest, most durable and least expensive materials used to a fill a cavity. Ongoing scientific studies conducted over the past 100 years continue to show that amalgam is not harmful.
Much of the concern over the safety of amalgams arises from the use of mercury as a bonding agent. But when mercury is combined with other materials in dental amalgam, its chemical nature changes, rendering it harmless. The amount of mercury released in the mouth under the pressure of chewing and grinding is extremely small and no cause for alarm. In fact, it is less than what patients are exposed to in food, air and water, and less than what gets released in patients who opt to have an existing amalgam filling removed.
The American Dental Association (ADA) maintains that dental amalgam remains a safe, affordable and durable cavity filling choice for dental patients. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend the removal of amalgam fillings from patients who have them because this could cause more harm to the tooth structure and pose other health risks to the patient.
when filling a cavity, deciding which type of filling to use is best made by the patient and the dentist, taking into account the size and location of the cavity, patient history, cosmetic concerns and cost. Ask your dentist to discuss all of the choices available for dental fillings and help you decide which alternative is right for you.