All About Silver Fillings

Do you have any silver fillings? There was a time when silver was the filling material of choice, so many people still have them. Now there are better alternatives, but do dentists still use silver fillings? You may have heard that silver fillings could be bad for your health, but is it true? Are silver fillings bad for you? We’ve got the information you need to decide whether there’s any action you need to take.

Silver Dental Fillings in Tempe, AZ

What Are Metal Fillings

First, it would be more accurate to call them metal fillings. A silver filling isn’t really made of silver, but of a combination, or amalgam, of several metals in addition to silver. These fillings, often called amalgam fillings, can contain copper, tin, zinc, and even mercury. The mercury is what has people concerned. It’s now known that mercury is toxic if the body absorbs too much of it. As it builds up in the body, it wreaks havoc, damaging organs like your kidneys and contributing to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The concern is that as the silver fillings are worn down through use, mercury will be released from them in vapor form and absorbed by the body.

Is this a legitimate worry? Maybe not. Because of these concerns, many studies have been done recently, investigating the safety of amalgam fillings, and the general consensus is that the amount of mercury released is negligible- no enough to cause any real damage. In fact, you’re exposed to more bioavailable mercury from eating fish than you are from having silver fillings. Both the FDA and the American Dental Association still certify silver amalgam fillings as safe.

What Fillings Are Dentists Currently Using?

In recent years, dentists have moved away from silver fillings, choosing one of the new options that are now available. One of the most popular types of filling is the composite filling, which matches the color of your teeth. Not only do they blend in more discreetly than silver, but they also bond better to the tooth. Your dentist might also recommend ceramic fillings, which have many of the same attributes of composite fillings but are more durable. The drawback of ceramic fillings, though, is that they can be expensive.

Should You Replace Silver Fillings?

If you have silver fillings, should you have them replaced? In most cases, probably not. Since they don’t cause a significant health hazard due to the mercury, dentists often feel that leaving them alone is a better idea, since removing them can actually damage the teeth. Sometimes, though, silver fillings begin to deteriorate and separate from the tooth, causing pain or discomfort or, worse, opening you up to further tooth decay. If you are concerned about the stability of your silver fillings, talk to your dentist.

Contact Tempe Smiles Family Dental in Tempe, AZ

For quality dental care in the Tempe, Arizona area, look to the knowledgeable, experienced dentists at Tempe Smiles Family Dental. A full service dental office offering a wide range of comprehensive dental services, we are committed to a whole-mouth approach to dentistry. We provide general and family dentistry, along with cosmetic and restorative dentistry, using contemporary clinical techniques and modern technology to provide comfortable and efficient treatments, delivering gentle, precise care for your entire family. Because we offer all of our treatments in a single office, we can provide our patients with a personalized experience, improved comfort, and excellent results. We’re committed to working with you to ensure you are satisfied with the look and health of your smile. For more information or to request an appointment, call us at 602-830-7500 or contact us through our website.