Dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease and exposed tooth root can be remedied in a couple of ways. One of the treatments is called a dental amalgam, which is currently sparking controversy, leaving people to wonder and worry: is amalgam truly safe?
What Exactly is Amalgam?
Amalgam is a mixture of metals and it has been around for the last 150 years. It is considered to be the most effective, and popular filling material for those whose teeth have been ravaged by tooth decay. It consists of tin, silver, copper and mercury. It is less expensive compared to other filling materials and it holds up better over time. But as you may have noticed, there’s mercury in its ingredients and this is a red flag. This brings us back to the question: are amalgams truly safe?
Is Amalgam a True Healer or is it an Insidious Enemy?
Elemental mercury, the type of mercury used in Amalgam fillings, is needed because it is the one responsible for binding the different metals together. Since 50% of an amalgam’s weight is mercury, it is the one responsible for the silver-like appearance. This is the reason why some people call it “silver fillings.”
We are exposed to mercury everyday through the food we eat, the water we drink and the soil we walk on. When we are exposed to it, even in small amounts, it could cause serious health issues. Although our bodies are pretty good at handling exposure to it, they could still cause adverse effects to our bodies, the chemical still has potent toxic effects on the kidneys, skin, eyes and lungs. It could jeopardise your body’s digestive, immune and nervous systems too.
What Studies Say
According to the US National Center for Biotechnology Information, dental amalgam is the main cause of the human total mercury body burden imbalance. They also mentioned that mercury vapor has synergistic toxicity to other metals and is ten times more toxic than lead on human neurons. The World Health Organization also considers mercury as one of the top ten chemicals, or groups of chemicals, that are a major health concern to the public. It is best to steer away from dental amalgam and try safer alternatives like composite resin fillings or undergo CEREC, which is the most revolutionary process in dentistry.
The dentists at Dental on George specialise in the safe removal of amalgam fillings following strictly the guidelines described by the International Academy for Oral Medicine and Toxicology (www.iaomt.org).