“Metal” fillings have been used by dentists for more than a century—but questions regarding their safety are circling. Dr. Bjorklund DDS offers Minneapolis an explanation and an alternative.
What makes up a “metal” filling? It is an amalgam of durable materials, mainly elemental mercury, silver, tin and copper. The fact that 43-54% of the filling ends up being mercury has raised some eyebrows in recent years. Major U.S. and international scientific and health bodies feel satisfied however that when the mercury combines with the other metals, it’s rendered stable and safe for use. Because amalgam fillings can withstand very high chewing loads, they are preferred by some for restoring molars where the chewing load is great.
However, despite being sanctioned by the American Dental Association, many remain doubtful and unwilling to take that risk. Some studies have indicated that when chewing pressure or heat is applied to such fillings, a minute amount of mercury vapor may be released. Should this vapor be inhaled into the lungs, it would then enter the bloodstream. Does this concern you?
An advance in dentistry has provided a fantastic option to mercury-containing fillings, so rest easy! Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a very attractive tooth-colored filling. They also maintain good durability and resistance to fracture (particularly in small-to-mid size restorations) and less tooth structure is removed in preparation compared to when receiving an amalgam filling.
So next time you suspect you need dental work, consult Dr. Bjorklund DDS serving Minneapolis to maintain your “metal-free” smile!