There is a lot of information—and misinformation—available online about the safety of traditional metal dental fillings, also known as dental amalgams. This information can be confusing to many patients who have metal fillings and want to know if they are safe.
Metal filings may contain mercury, which can be released into your bloodstream. A high level of mercury exposure has been linked to memory loss, organ failure, sleep disruptions, tremors, and irritability. But is this a safety concern for people who have metal fillings?
What Science Says about Metal Fillings
To gauge the safety of metal fillings, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research conducted two clinical trials on metal dental amalgams that were placed in children. These studies found that the mercury released from metal fillings was so small as to produce no harmful health effects in children ages 5 to 7.
However, a related study found that adults who are prone to organ failure may be negatively impacted by metal fillings. This information has been sufficient to prompt many dentists to stop offering metal fillings to both children and adults.
While many dentists now provide white and porcelain fillings for new cavities, adults and children with metal fillings may wish to replace their fillings with this safer, stronger option. For patients who are concerned with the safety of their metal fillings, accomplished Burke, Virginia, cosmetic dentist Dr. Pamela Marzban can remove and replace amalgam fillings with composite resin or porcelain fillings.