Dr. Brian Chan
6880 S McCarran, Ste. 9
Reno, NV 89509

By contactus
May 22, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
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Amalgam, also known as silver fillings, is a common material that dentists have used for decades to fill cavities. Though it can be argued that amalgam fillings last longer, especially on teeth that get a lot of wear and tear, and that the material is less expensive than the newer materials, there has long been concern because it contains mercury. Mercury helps make the filling material pliable and easy to work with, it hardens quickly, and it can withstand the forces of biting and chewing; however it is believed that amalgam fillings lose their mercury content overtime and the fear is that that mercury vapor could be absorbed into your tissues. If exposed to high levels, mercury can cause symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, memory loss, headaches and fatigue.

The American Dental Association claims that amalgam fillings are safe because the amount of mercury released into the body is too minute to be harmful; however, several states now require dentists to separate the amalgam waste out of the water before it reaches the sewer line; reason being that amalgam fillings may be harmful and toxic to the human body. In fact, there are countries, such as Sweden, that have banned the use of amalgam completely. Hmmm…

Though there are strong proponents on both side of the argument, at Cypress Dental we have taken the stance not to use amalgam. 

Why Cypress Dental Does Not Use Amalgam Silver Fillings:

  • Silver fillings are ugly
  • Mercury is a hazardous waste and can harm our bodies and the environment
  • Some people are sensitive to mercury
  • Amalgam fillings expand and contract with temperature changes which can cause tooth fracture
  • Edges can leak and allow recurrent decay
  • The benefits of bonded fillings just plain outweigh benefits of amalgam
  • Basically, better options, such as tooth-colored bonded fillings, are available

Do you need to go and have all of your silver fillings removed immediately?

Not necessarily. You may choose to replace them for esthetic or personal reasons; however you do not need to have your amalgam fillings replaced until you start to notice that they are breaking down. If you have any questions or would like to have your silver fillings evaluated, we would be happy to help.