Dental amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are one of the most popular solutions for filling cavities caused by tooth decay. These fillings have been used by many dentists all over the world to treat thousands of patients for over 150 years.
The main reason for using dental amalgam fillings as restorative filling material is they contain a combination of mercury and other metals such as copper, silver, tin and zinc. Mercury is considered to be an essential material that makes these dental fillings pliable, strong and long-lasting.
However, numerous concerns have been raised in the past few years regarding the use of mercury in dentistry. The primary reason for these concerns is that mercury poses serious risks for humans, and can cause great damage if it enters the bloodstream.
Due to these very serious health concerns, you should look for a mercury-free dental clinic the next time you need to see a dentist.
Here are a few main reasons why mercury in dental fillings can be dangerous, and why it may be time to find a new family dentist.
Mercury is Bioaccumulative
Bioaccumulation is a process in which substances or materials gradually accumulate in the organs or tissues of the body. The mercury present in dental amalgams is ‘bioaccumulative,’ which means that it builds up in certain tissues of the body such as the brain and kidneys. This happens because the mercury in these fillings is elemental mercury. It releases mercury vapour that can be easily absorbed and inhaled by our lungs.
The Risk of Mercury Allergy
There are many people who are allergic to metals, and wearing mercury fillings can be very dangerous for these people. A mercury allergy is a serious condition. There are also people with mercury hypersensitivity who should also avoid mercury fillings. Finding a mercury-free dental clinic is the best way to prevent possible health risks due to a metal allergy or hypersensitivity.
Release of Mercury in the Body
Previously, dental amalgam fillings were believed to be inert. This means that once the fillings were properly placed in a tooth, they would not release any mercury. However, recent research studies are suggesting that over time, these fillings do release small amounts of mercury in the form of a vapour that can easily enter the bloodstream as well as certain organs of the body. The presence of mercury in the human body can adversely affect kidney and brain functionality.
Unsafe Removal can be Detrimental
As effective and durable as amalgam fillings have proven to be, they can be equally harmful when removed incorrectly from a patient’s teeth. This is especially true for dentists who practice unsafe removal methods. Incorrectly removing dental fillings can release a large amount of poisonous mercury vapour. Unsafe removal practices can negatively affect the patient, the dentist and the staff caring for the patient.
Prioritize Your Health
Although the concerns regarding the use of mercury in dental practice are still debated by health professionals, it is better to be safe than sorry when you’re dealing with your health or your family’s health. People living in Ontario can visit Hummingbird Dental, a Richmond Hill Dentist that is mercury-free, for all of their dental needs.