Amalgam, a popular dental filling, is the product of combining silver and mercury. With concerns about Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis being caused by mercury poisoning, some believe that the mercury in amalgam leaking from fillings could be a culprit.
Medical experts and health organizations are not seeing links between the diseases and amalgam. The American Dental Association is maintaining their stance on amalgam being safe for dental filling material. Those statements are backed up by the Public Health Service and the World Health Organization.
Silver Fillings: Not Harmful to Health (Photo Courtesy eHow)
Several medical studies examining the effects of inorganic dental filling mercury on humans have ruled out any connection between amalgam and effects on the body. Experts cite the elemental, inorganic nature of the mercury in amalgam as a product that cannot be detrimental to human health. They add that one form of absorbable mercury, methyl mercury, can be absorbed into the digestive system and might cause cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disease.
And many people are easily influenced by rumors and hearsay regarding amalgam—even when confronted by scientific facts claiming their health will not be affected. These falsities come in the form of articles that claim that chewing gum causes poisoning from mercury dental filling leaks as well as videos of supposed mercury vapor emitting from a person’s mouth. The latter is easily dismissed, as mercury cannot vaporize in one’s mouth unless the human body is at 673 degrees Fahrenheit.
For those seeking alternatives to amalgam fillings, there are several. Porcelain has the distinction of looking like tooth enamel and bending well to the shape of the teeth, though it is more expensive than the silver-and-mercury material and does not last as long. Resin is less resilient compared to porcelain and is primarily for minor cavities.
If you have silver fillings and you are considering replacement for cosmetic reasons, American Dental Plan can help you save on dental care. Check out our list of benefits and providers in Arizona.