You’ve probably had your tooth filled because of a cavity or any other dental problem. Getting a dental filling is not exactly fun. The painful drilling sensation makes you shed a tear or two. In addition, fillings change how your teeth look. The silver ones leave a dark spot that looks like a gaping hole. Tooth-colored ones look better. But, do they have adverse effects to your dental health?
The main purpose of fillings is to restore the structure of the damaged tooth. Gentle Dentist can attest to the wonders they can do. And, despite concerns, research shows that they are not harmful to the health. Here’s why.
Where the Concerns Came From
Dental amalgam, or the silver filling, is probably the oldest and most widely-used material to fill cavities. For the last 150 years, millions have used it as a way to restore their teeth. Amalgam is a mixture of metals and elements, and it contains mercury.
The reason behind the use of the element in amalgam is not clear. But, mercury is known to be poisonous, and the silver filling may emit it in gas form. Once the person gets mercury into their body, it may cause serious health problems such as lung and respiratory illnesses.
Why It’s Not a Huge Cause for Concern
While amalgam releases mercury vapor, the very low levels of it have no adverse effects in the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s study finds that amalgam is safe for children above 6 and adults. There is no strong scientific evidence that shows otherwise.
In addition, mercury vapor and the mercury associated with poisoning are not the same thing. The body also has different ways of absorbing them, and very low levels are not harmful. Today, most dental amalgams do not even contain mercury anymore.
There Are Alternatives
They’re a very durable type of filling, and they can last for years without causing any problem. But, if you still have reservations in using them, there are other alternatives, such as the more natural-looking tooth-colored filling. Made of resin, it blends well with natural teeth and is also mercury-free.
Fillings are made to keep your teeth functional and in good shape. They won’t harm your teeth or your health, so no need to fuss. Just go and get what suits you best.