Why Choose Composite Fillings?
Have you been experiencing discomfort or sensitivity in one or more of your teeth? You may be suffering from dental decay that has dissolved the enamel of your teeth, creating a cavity. Dental decay is a serious issue, for which a tooth filling is one treatment method used for repair. For over 100 years, amalgam silver fillings—a liquid mercury and metal alloy mixture—have been used in dentistry to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. If you have had a cavity at some point in your life, there is a good chance that an amalgam silver filling was used.
The FDA has recently released an article expressing their concerns for high-risk patients who have amalgam fillings. It states that these individuals would benefit from not using amalgam silver fillings in the event that they need a cavity filled. The high-risk individuals include:
- Women who are planning to become pregnant or are currently pregnant
- Nursing mothers
- Children, especially under the age of 6
- Patients with existing neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
- Patients suffering from kidney function issues
- Patients allergic to mercury or other metals included in the alloy mixture
While the effects of mercury in amalgam silver fillings are not harmful to all, these high-risk patients may be at risk for harmful health effects. The FDA suggests that amalgam silver fillings not be removed or replaced unless medically necessary due to mercury vapor exposure. While removal of the amalgam silver fillings isn’t detrimental, there is a minimal chance that patients with certain existing medical conditions may be compromised.
One excellent filling replacement option is a composite, or tooth-colored, filling. Composite fillings match the color of the damaged tooth, require less drilling, preserve more of the natural tooth, and bond directly to the surface of the tooth.
If you have amalgam silver fillings and have any questions about replacing them, please contact our Seattle, WA office to learn more or schedule an appointment. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please read the article released by the FDA. (https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-issues-recommendations-certain-high-risk-groups-regarding-mercury-containing-dental-amalgam)