Fact or Fiction? Amalgam Fillings

There continues the rumors, amidst facts, that circulate about the amalgam material used to fill the cavities of teeth. Your general dentists in Wappinger Falls, NY want to alleviate the fears by presenting the evidence of the safety of amalgam fillings that appear as that ‘silver lining’ in what once was a badly decayed tooth.


What is an Amalgam Filling?

The filling shining in your mouth is not all silver. Rather, dental amalgam is, by weight, comprised of fifty percent elemental mercury as well as metal powdered alloys containing silver, tin, copper and zinc.  The mercury in the amalgam is there to bind the other powered metals together. Most dentists like amalgam for its strength and that it has the least cost for patients. When the amalgam is placed in your tooth, the mercury has formed a compound with the other metals and is not toxic.

Debates on Amalgam

For the sake of debate, some who oppose amalgam for teeth fillings say it can cause, years after exposure to the metal, metallic taste in mouth and mouth sores, gastrointestinal abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation and some sensitivity to certain foods, abnormally high or low blood pressure. There is belief that it can bring on neurological difficulties such as mood function, anxiety, depression, memory loss and headache and the possibility of contracting Alzheimer’s disease.


Facts from the Fiction

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States has re-classified its findings on the silver filling material as of 2009, stating that the amount of mercury is so low within the filling that they have declared dental amalgam to be safe for the general population of adults and children six years of age and older and only a small percent of the population could have an allergic reaction to the mercury found in silver-colored amalgam.


Besides amalgam fillings getting the thumbs-up from your general dentists in Wappinger Falls, NY in terms of safety, the FDA, and the American Dental Association (ADA) also rules dental amalgam as safe to use. If that isn’t enough, the Alzheimer’s Association, International Journal of Dentistry, New England Journal of Medicine and Mayo Clinic all conclude that there is no scientific evidence of mercury in dental amalgam being an unsafe practice in modern dentistry.


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