Concerns about dental amalgam containing mercury explained by a mercury-free dentist in Kirkland, WA
Dental amalgam has been a very common material used in fillings and are also known as silver fillings. There are concerns over these amalgam fillings due to trace amounts of mercury contained within the material. Dr. Ann Kelley and her team at Kingsgate Dental have made the decision to use tooth-colored resin for cavity fillings due to these concerns as well as for improved appearance.
Amalgam – what is it?
Amalgam, for years, has been the most popular filling material used in dentistry. It is a combination of metals and is sometimes called ‘silver amalgam’ and it can contain silver, mercury, tin and copper. With the increased use of tooth-colored materials that have become available over the last several years, amalgam use for fillings is beginning to decrease.
Mercury in amalgam
While there are millions of people around the world who have been given amalgam fillings, in recent years concern has been raised regarding the trace amounts of mercury used in these fillings. The reason for this concern is due to the effects mercury exposure can have on a patient. Mercury is naturally occurring, and everybody is exposed to it as there are amounts of it in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat due to pollution caused by industry. These are not factors we can avoid. But we all do have control over the material used in our fillings.
The problem with mercury in fillings is that, as the amalgam filling wears it can release the mercury in the form of vapor into our bodies. Concerns about mercury are directly related to the amount absorbed and there has been controversy over the effect that mercury in these trace amounts have on the body, but why risk it? Side effects of mercury on a patient could include anxiety, memory loss, fatigue and headaches.
Kingsgate Dental is proud to practice mercury-free dentistry. Regardless of if you believe mercury to be dangerous or not, Dr. Kelley doesn’t want any of her patients to be at risk for side effects related to mercury in amalgam fillings. To schedule a dental exam and cleaning, please give Dr. Ann Kelley a call today at (425) 385-0080.