What is an amalgam filling?
Amalgam fillings are silver in colour and have been used for over 150 years. They are generally placed on back teeth which are used for chewing.
What is it made out of?
Dental Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with other metals. High copper alloys are most commonly used nowadays. It also contains silver, tin and zinc.
How is it placed?
Because amalgam does not stick to teeth, much more healthy and natural tooth substance has to be removed to keep it locked into the tooth. Amalgam is then packed and carved into the tooth. It can take between 24 hours and 7 days for the amalgam to fully set and harden, which means patients are advised to avoid chewing with it for some time.
Is it poisonous?
The continued use of dental amalgam has become a controversial topic in recent years with concerns being raised about its safety. This is particularly in relation to the release of mercury during placement, carving and in the longer term, during chewing. Dental amalgam contains mercury which is known to cause biological harm. Some effects of mercury can range from psychosis to kidney failure??? In fact, some countries have actually taken steps to ban its use.
However, so far no reputable controlled studies have found a connection between amalgam fillings and any medical problem.
I am pregnant, what should I do?
Synergy Dental Clinic will not provide dental amalgam to anyone who is pregnant for safety purposes. All requested amalgam fillings will be postponed until after the mother stops breast-feeding. Other options will need to be considered to restore the tooth.
Can my kids have amalgam fillings?
More advanced fillings such as Glass Ionomers and composites are preferred over amalgam, especially if the patient is a growing child.