Fillings are the most common routine dental procedure in dental practice. Amalgam fillings are the traditional type of filling material produced from mercury and a mixture of other metals, therefore being silver in colour. They are extremely durable, safe and also cost effective. However, composite (white) fillings are now considered to be just as durable.
The procedure involves removing previous cavity from the tooth and then the placement of the filling, all in one sitting.
The debate surrounding toxic mercury in amalgam fillings has been going on for years. However, researchers in the UK have found no link between dental amalgam fillings and mercury poisoning and so is still deemed safe to use as a filling material.
That being said, pregnant women are advised to avoid amalgam fillings as a way of precaution to reassure the health and safety of both mother and child.
Why choose amalgam fillings?
Amalgam fillings are highly durable and extremely cost effective. However if you feel uncomfortable with the silver colour of the fillings you can note that amalgam fillings are commonly used for the back molar teeth and therefore less visible to the eye. We also offer composite fillings which are more commonly chosen for the front teeth and are white in colour.
How likely am I to develop mercury poisoning?
It is tremendously important to note that there has not yet been any proven direction correlation between amalgam fillings and developing mercury poisoning. Although very highly unlikely, (under 1% of the population) have been effected by this condition. Research studies have suggested the risk of poisoning may increase depending on the number of amalgam fillings you have and the duration you have had them for.
How long do amalgam fillings last on average?
The average duration of amalgam fillings is around 15 years, highlighting the durability of the filling.