Do Dentists Still Use Amalgam Fillings?

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If you have bitten off more than you can chew, and we mean literally, it might be time for a filling. Although there are many alternatives in today’s world, one option which has been around for over 150 years is amalgam dental fillings. Used to fill any cavity caused by tooth decay and other dental conditions, amalgams contain a mixture of metal and powdered alloy (i.e., tin, copper, or silver). Be that as it may, dental amalgam fillings are often referred to as “silver fillings”, all due to their silver-like appearance.

The controversy appears when finding out that 50% of dental amalgams are made using elemental mercury. Therefore, the question then remains: do dentists still rely on this out-dated procedure of using amalgam fillings? While there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the answer, we can say that some practitioners will, while others just won’t. Here at Adelaide Dental we always put our patients health first and you can trust that we will always work to find the best solution for your dental needs.


The Benefits

Those who are still using amalgam fillings can be heard pointing out how durable and safe it is in comparison to resin composites. In fact, this fairly inexpensive procedure can last twice as long as other options, while also being incredibly tolerant to saliva. Unlike composites, dental amalgams are less time consuming and around 20-30% kinder on your wallet.


The Downsides

Adelaide Dentists have reservations about using dental amalgam because; you’ve guessed it, the elemental mercury content. The release of vapour mercury can be absorbed by the lungs, causing permanent and irreversible damage. Also, many dentists believe that the exposure to this vapour can cause both kidney and brain damage.

To contradict this speculation, studies conducted by the FDA have shown that there is no connection between dental amalgam fillings and adverse health reactions. In other words, these silver-looking fillers are safe for children ages 6 and above and adults alike. You can then buckle up and opt for this budget-friendly alternative when considering dental fillings.

The other downside to using an amalgam filling is the visibility. Many patients now prefer to have a tooth coloured finish rather than a silver finish to better disguise their dental work.

At Adelaide Dental, we’re here to answer your questions about amalgam fillings and more. That being said, don’t’ hesitate to either give us a ring or pop in for a consultation. Conveniently located in Rundle Mall Adelaide, we’re armed to the teeth with dental information!