Do you have amalgam or mercury fillings? An Amalgam filling is gray or silver-colored and is comprised of 50 percent mercury. The silver color of the fillings is why they are often referred to as silver fillings. They are commonly used to fill cavities due to the low cost and ease of insertion.
The problem is that they can be dangerous for your long-term health due to the high mercury content. At Smiles By Shields, we can remove your harmful mercury fillings and replace them with non-toxic tooth-colored fillings. Find out why we always recommend getting them replaced and filled by reading on.
The Dangers of Mercury Tooth Fillings
Mercury fillings have been used by dentists to fill cavities for decades. This is because it was an overall small content of mercury used and it was considered to be harmless back then. In fact, more than 100 million individuals in the United States have mercury (amalgam) fillings today.
The bad news is that there is no known safe quantity of mercury that can be put into the human body. Amalgam fillings are comprised of 50 percent mercury, 32 percent silver, and minute amounts of other elements, like copper, tin and zinc. When these metals are mixed together and placed in a tooth, they harden relatively quickly and help reduce the risk of further tooth decay while improving the structural stability of the tooth.
Effects Of Mercury On The Body
Unfortunately, mercury off-gases every time it is disturbed. This means that every time you chew food or create wear and tear on the mercury filling, it releases small amounts of toxic gases. These gases are absorbed by your mucous membranes and can cause:
- An increased chance of experiencing mercury poisoning
- The presence of mercury fillings can harm the brain
- The mercury in amalgam fillings may harm fetuses
- No studies have been done proving fillings are completely safe
- Some individuals may be allergic to the fillings
- If the fillings are released into the environment, they can harm wildlife, plants, and water sources
Why Mercury Fillings Are Now Considered Dangerous
In the past, advanced testing for the off-gassing of small amounts of mercury was not available. It was believed that the relatively small amounts of mercury in amalgam fillings weren’t enough to cause any long-term negative health effects in the human body. Today, we are able to test small amounts of mercury for off-gassing, and amalgam fillings do release toxic gases every time it’s disturbed. Not to mention, if the mercury in the amalgam fillings finds its way into the environment, it can harm nature and pollute water sources.
Individuals Who Should Avoid Amalgam Fillings
Certain individuals are at a higher risk of experiencing negative health effects of amalgam fillings. This is primarily because mercury exposure is cumulative. If you work in that environment with high levels of mercury in the air, are pregnant, or eat lots of seafood, you are at a higher risk for mercury poisoning. It can also cause headaches, nausea, nerve damage, and even kidney problems. Certain habits can also increase the amount of mercury released into your body from the fillings. This includes drinking hot beverages and chewing gum.
Replacing Your Amalgam Fillings with our Cosmetic Dentist in Jacksonville, FL
If you have silver fillings in your mouth, our wellness dentist, Dr. Tiffany Shields in Jacksonville, Florida, recommends having them removed as soon as possible. Our holistic dentist has the proper equipment to safely remove mercury fillings and dispose of the material in a safe manner that doesn’t harm the environment. Once we’ve safely removed your mercury filling, we will replace it with a tooth-colored composite filling. This is not only safe for your mouth and body and the environment, but it also looks better than silver fillings. If the tooth is too weak to support another filling, we also offer dental implants, which can safely replace the tooth.
To learn more about how we can help you get rid of your mercury filling and restore the health of your body while preventing harm to your overall health, give our cosmetic dentist in Jacksonville, FL a call at 904-731-0777.