Besides silver, classic metal fillings contain tin, copper, and mercury.
That last element is the controversial ingredient that has a lot of people worried about the safety of silver fillings.
Mercury has been known to cause some serious problems in humans. Kidney and thyroid damage can result from mercury poisoning. Neurological and behavioral problems are also common.
People with unsafe levels of mercury in their bodies may suffer from:
- Mood disorders
Could these issues come about from having mercury-based fillings in the mouth?
Interestingly, the problem isn’t that you could swallow mercury. Rather, vapors can be released when you chew on metal fillings and inhaling those vapors is what can cause trouble.
Don’t go into a panic over the metal fillings you currently have. Research shows that there aren’t enough harmful vapors released to cause any problems. You’re more likely to get mercury poisoning from eating fish with high levels of this element or from an occupational hazard that exposes you to it.
So why was mercury used in metal fillings, anyway?
When this metal combines with liquid silver, tin, and copper, it helps bind and set them. This material is ideal for quickly filling a cavity.
Nowadays, most fillings are made from a metal-free mix of plastic and glass. This composite resin is strong and beautiful and has no traces of mercury.
Even if you’re still not sure about the safety of metal fillings, that’s okay. We’re ready to accommodate your dental preferences here at Dream Dentist. Dr. Sarah Thompson uses only safe and modern composite resin to restore teeth.
Call us today to book your visit.