Dental amalgam (silver filling material) has been used by dentists for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients. It is the most thoroughly researched and tested of all the dental restorative materials. It resists wear well and is quite durable. It is also relatively inexpensive when compared to other dental restorative materials. It remains a valued treatment option for many patients.
Dental amalgam consists of a combination of mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metallic elements. In recent years, some concern has been raised because of its mercury content. Some patients have considered having their existing dental amalgams removed. However, the FDA does not recommend removing amalgam fillings if they are still in good condition, there is no decay and there is no other problem with the tooth that would require a new restoration. Removing and replacing restorations does also removed some tooth structure, so it is best to do this only when necessary.
Many studies have shown that the mercury in amalgam combines with the other metals to stabilitze it and make it safe for use in filling teeth, according to many U.S. and international scientific and health organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization.
Today there are many dental restorative material options. We are happy to discuss all of these with you.