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A 45-year-old member asked:

How safe are amalgam fillings?

7 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jonathan Neman
Dentistry 14 years experience
Try this...: I have both in my mouth and i would use them in my own children if thy needed fillings. That being said they are not the most beautiful choice.
Dr. Kevin Hanley
Orthodontics 44 years experience
Very: Amalgam fillings have been in use for over 100 years. They have never been proven to cause any type of systemic disorder. The problem is that there is mercury in amalgam. However, the mercury becomes inert due to the amalgamation process. Therefore, it is not available to react with the environment. If you are sensitive to mercury, however, you should not have any amalgam filings.
Dr. Yigal Prilutsky
Dentistry 21 years experience
No evidence: There's no clear evidence that amalgams is unsafe. It's been used in dentistry for well over 100 years and has proven to be durable and effective. However, more and more people refuse to have this material placed in their mouth due to fears or cosmetic concerns. We now have good alternatives with porcelain and composite resins. I have amalgams and i'm not planning to change them any time soon.
Dr. I. Jay Freedman
Dentistry 44 years experience
Repeated reputable scientific studies bare this out to be true.
Dec 10, 2012
Dr. Stephen Gordon
44 years experience
Not safe: Recent technology shows mercury vapor given off with chewing, clenching, grinding and brushing. Mercury is not inert and the epa considers removed amalgam to be hazardous waste. I have installed a separator device in my office (at great expense) to collect this scrap so it does not pollute our water system. Scrap sent to hazardous waste certified facility. No amalgam since 1980!
Dr. Rod Zimmerman
Dentistry 38 years experience
Safe: Based on scientific evidence, fda considers dental amalgam fillings also known as silver fillings are safe for adults and children ages 6 and above. The amount of mercury measured in the bodies of people with dental amalgam fillings is well below levels associated with adverse health effects.
Dr. Robert Devin
Dentistry 48 years experience
Silver fillings: Yes , they are safe. But only when they are small. Shallow and less than1/4 of the width if the tooth, they last for years. Bigger than that they should be replaced with tooth colored fillings. Those white filings need to be placed under a dental dam. If your dds doesn't use dental dam...Go to one who does. Its important. Just ask. I always use it. My patients appreciate that. The filings last.
Dr. Don Millner
Dentistry - Cosmetic 44 years experience
Safer than white one: There is no evidence of safety issues of silver mercury amalgam restorations. For every one accusatory claim, i can match it with a claim about the ingredients of a white composite filling. The sad part is that silver mercury fillings can be far longer lasting and actually ward off decay something that white fillings can't claim. Bottom line, floss daily and you won't have the need for them!

Similar questions

A 37-year-old member asked:

What should I do about an amalgam filling?

6 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein
Cosmetic Dentistry 34 years experience
Why?: What you should do depends on what you believe. If you feel there is something undesirable about this particular filling material- the way it looks or what it's composed of, have it removed and replaced with a different material.
Dr. James Beck
Dr. James Beck commented
Dentistry 12 years experience
I have several amalgam fillings in my mouth that have held up just fine for years. I don't plan on doing anything about them.
Dec 19, 2012
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok commented
Pediatrics 34 years experience
The American Dental Association (ADA) says: dental amalgam is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. It contains a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.
Feb 10, 2013

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Last updated Aug 27, 2017
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