Amalgam Fillings

If you have ever had a filling placed in your tooth, then you probably had an amalgam filling. These are the bright silver fillings and they are easily identified within the mouth because they stand out. Throughout the years, many concerns have been raised about amalgam fillings. The reason behind the concern is due to the levels of mercury that may be within the fillings. Below, Dr. Luu will address some of the most commonly asked questions about this material and the types of fillings.

What is amalgam?

If you have never heard of the word amalgam, you are not alone. Many people just know the word as silver fillings and this is the most common name for them. Amalgam is a combination of different types of metals and has been used for over 100 years. This metal combination is comprised of copper, mercury, and tin. In fact, it is basically a random mix up of metal. Small amounts of zinc and palladium are found inside as well.

Tooth colored fillings are more relied on in the dental field because they look nice and the do not pose any risks like the amalgam. Newer materials can be used wherever amalgam was placed and Dr. Luu can even replace your current amalgam fillings.

Is there mercury in amalgam?

Yes. Mercury is one of the metals that is inside of an amalgam filling because it allows the filling to be molded easily and it allows Dr. Luu to shape it. When mercury is mixed together with an alloy powder, it becomes very soft and moldable. The filling is able to be pushed inside of the hole in the tooth. It does harden quite quickly, so Dr. Luu must work as quickly as possible to get it in place. Mercury fillings were one of the most popular choices because it could stand up to chewing and biting.

Should I have amalgam fillings removed?

No. You do not have to have amalgam fillings removed from your mouth, but if you want to, we can do it for you in our Brentwood office. The only time you actually need to have one of these fillings removed is if it is worn broken, broken, or falls out. There is not sufficient medical evidence to show that the amalgam fillings will become a problem in your mouth.

Removing an amalgam filling that is in good condition is a waste and should never be done. Complications can arise and if your filling is still good, there is no reason to risk it. In addition, removal of the filling itself may actually trigger the release of mercury into your mouth.

Have there been any reactions reported related to amalgam?

There have been rare cases when someone has complained that they have had an allergic reaction to the mercury in the filling. The ADA states that there are fewer than 100 of these cases reported – ever. People who are allergic to the material can receive other types of fillings in their mouth to accommodate their needs. Dr. Luu will work with you to determine if amalgam is safe for you. If you are worried about amalgam fillings, let us know and we will go over the options with you.

/ Why must you handle amalgam with caution if it is safe?

Dr. Luu works with mercury on a daily basis which means that he is exposed to a lot more of it than you are. It is important for Dr. Luu to protection himself because of the vapors that are released. Mercury toxicity does exist and a lot of exposure to it can be deadly.

/ Is amalgam safe for you?

Many different patients have amalgam fillings inside of their mouths. Concerns about the levels of mercury have been brought up and many patients tend to think that they will die from poisoning. You will NOT die, so you have nothing to worry about. There have been many different reputable studies performed that have shown that there is no reason to stop or limit how much amalgam is used. The FDA has completely backed this decision and has concluded that these fillings are safe for children over the age of 6 and all adults.

Is your Brentwood office amalgam free?

No. At Fairview Dental, we do offer amalgam fillings as one of our options, but we do also offer tooth-colored options as well. Since there is not sufficient evidence to show that amalgam is harmful, there is no reason to stop the use of it. Some patients do prefer amalgam over porcelain or ceramic.

Dr. Luu does rely on amalgam fillings for this who need it and if you have any concerns, now is the time to call our office and talk to one of our professionals.

What alternatives to amalgam do you offer?

There are a number of different options and you do not have to settle on an amalgam filling. We have one substitution that is called indium and it helps to hold the mercury in place and prevents it from releasing into your mouth at all. You will never have to worry about mercury and its effects with this option.

We also offer high copper amalgam and this options contains more copper and less mercury. Dr. Luu will need to make special arrangements, so do make sure you let us know if this is an option you want.

You may also see other materials such a gold, porcelain, and resin. All of these are safe alternatives and we can help you explore all of your options.

/ Come in Today for a Dental Consultation

If you are in need of a dental consultation in Brentwood, CA, now is the time to call Fairview Dental. We offer amalgam fillings and other options for those who cannot receive the traditional options. If you have any questions for us, call our office now to go over your options and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Luu. We do offer FREE consultations and accept most major insurance companies.