What is Dental Amalgam

Dental amalgam is a restorative material that has been used for over 150 years to repair fractured, decayed, or damaged teeth.

Dental amalgam is made from a mixture of powdered alloy comprising silver, copper and tin, and elemental mercury. The latter makes up about half the weight of the amalgam fillings, and is responsible for facilitating bonding with the alloys to form the silver-looking amalgam; hence, the name “silver fillings.”

Dental Amalgam Filling Woodland Hills

Benefits and Risks of Dental Amalgam

The FDA considers amalgam a safe filling material. It has provided millions of patients with a strong, long-lasting, and affordable tooth repair option.

However, studies show that amalgam releases small amounts of mercury vapor that the patient inhales and absorbs in the longs. Prolonged exposure to mercury vapor has been associated with chronic headaches and migraines, and adverse effects in the kidneys and brain.

The FDA has reviewed the plethora of scientific findings to establish whether the low levels of exposure to mercury vapor linked to dental amalgam fillings are harmful to patients. They still argue that amalgam fillings are safe for children over 6 years and adults.

However, fetuses and infants, whose neurological systems are not fully developed, are considered more vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects associated with mercury vapor. Though there’s hardly any clinical data to show the long-term health effects in fetuses, newborns, and children under six years, it is recommended that expectant and nursing mothers discuss other options with their dentist before getting an amalgam filling.

Should You Get a Dental Amalgam Filling in Woodland Hills?

There are different materials available for dental filling, including composite, amalgam, porcelain, metal and porcelain, and so on. Choosing the right material for your case is a decision that should be made in consultation with your dentist.

If you have amalgam fillings and are concerned about the risks of mercury vapor fillings, you can also discuss with your dentist about the safe removal of amalgam.