Modern society is unaware of its constant exposure to dangerous chemicals. Most of us go on with our lives, buying products left and right without checking their labels or the safety of their ingredients or components.
This trend also applies to the dental treatments we undergo, like dental fillings. They are a common tooth restoration material that we still use today. One of the most common types of substances used in dental fillings is amalgam. According to an FDA report, silver fillings or amalgams are 50% mercury by weight. Despite its rare use, many dental clinics still use amalgams in their dental fillings because of their low cost and high malleability.
However, there have been concerns about the potential health hazards associated with amalgams due to their high mercury content. This has caused dentists worldwide to find a safer alternative for patients and the environment and promote the use of mercury-free fillings.
It’s your right to choose what’s safe for you, including procedures regarding your oral health. Here’s a brief overview of amalgam fillings to give you an idea of what mercury-free dentistry is.
Why Do Amalgam Fillings Have Mercury?
An amalgam is a mixture of elemental liquid mercury with alloy powder. The unique properties of mercury to bind and react with silver, copper, and tin make amalgams more durable.
Mercury Dental Fillings Side Effects
According to dentists in Durango CO, your choices and your dentist’s recommendations should guide you in your choice of dental filling materials. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t choose amalgams.
1. Amalgams release mercury vapors.
Once placed on teeth, amalgams can become unstable and release low levels of mercury vapors. Mercury can accumulate in the body and cause severe damage to the brain, lungs, kidneys, and other parts of your body.
2. It puts pregnant women and young children at risk for neurotoxic effects.
Evidence supports that long-term mercury exposure harms pregnant women. But, it is also a health risk for the baby in their womb and young children who are sensitive to mercury’s neurotoxic effects.
In a study on the effects of mercury exposure on their health, children who accidentally consumed mercury experienced tremors. Mercury vapor exposure also inflicts neurological damage on developing fetuses.
3. It causes allergic reactions.
Mercury allergy can lead to severe reactions that can prove fatal if not treated quickly. Some people are allergic not only to mercury but also to copper, silver, and tin.
Mercury-free Dentistry: Benefits
Mercury-free dentistry is a good option if you are concerned about mercury exposure from amalgam. It is based on the principle of removing amalgams from dental services to prioritize patient health. Here are some of the benefits of going mercury free for your dental needs:
1. Safe Solutions for Dentists and Patients
High levels of amalgam exposure can lead to neurological issues such as epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and lupus. The severity of symptoms will vary depending on the length of exposure and the individual’s overall health.
Amalgam fillings can also pose a risk to patients and dental professionals in the dental clinic. Vapor from mercury is odorless, tasteless, and colorless; patients and dentists won’t even realize that they have it in their bodies.
Clinics that practice mercury-free dentistry, on the other hand, are safe places with minimal mercury exposure. Your trusted, mercury-free dentist can help maintain your dental health without putting anyone at risk.
2. More Natural Results
Dental fillings are designed to restore a natural-looking smile. Not using amalgams allows you to have more natural-looking teeth that blend in with the rest of your natural teeth. Contrastingly, using metals in dental fillings will make your restorations look fake.
Mercury can threaten the environment and aquatic life if introduced to the water supply. Mercury-free dentistry removes mercury from dental procedures, which benefits the environment and reduces the risk of mercury contamination.
4. Access to More Reliable Options
Mercury-free dentists use composite dental fillings instead of amalgams. Dentists can customize them to match the natural color of your teeth and make them feel more real. They also last longer than amalgam fillings, which can shrink or break over time.
Amalgams are not as safe because of the mercury they contain; they are 50% mercury by weight. Mercury makes amalgams strong by binding well to tin, copper, and silver, but they are not safe for dentists, patients, and the environment. It causes neurotoxic effects in patients or accumulates in the body and harms the kidneys, brains, and lungs. They can also contaminate sources of water, making them unsafe for consumption.
That’s why more and more dentists are practicing mercury-free dentistry. It produces more reliable and natural results and is safe for the environment. It also keeps patients and doctors safe from the hazardous effects of mercury.
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