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Potential Benefits and Risks of Dental Amalgam Fillings

Posted May 17 2010 11:05pm

Dental amalgam fillings are materials employed to seal cavities that have developed due to decaying tooth. These fillings have been used since over a century on scores of patients.

Dental amalgam fillings are additionally known as silver fillings due to their silvery appearance. These fillings are a blend of metal types comprising of liquefied mercury and a powdery alloy made of tin, copper and silver. Nearly fifty percent of dental amalgam fillings are in fact elementary mercury by weight.

Prior to the dental amalgam being placed, a dentist would initially drill the tooth for removing any traces of decaying and then would shape the cavity of the tooth for snug placing of the amalgam filling. Subsequently, under apt safety scenarios, the dentist would then mix the liquefied mercury along with powdery alloy for making the amalgam putty. Such constituents are made available to the dentist in capsular form. The soft-textured amalgam putty placement would be done in the earlier set up cavity, where it is left to harden forming a firm filling.

Amalgam fillingsPotential Advantages of Amalgam Fillings

Dental amalgam fillings are durable, last for longer time and have lesser likelihood of breaking as compared to the other forms of dental fillings. Also, cost-wise dental amalgam is the cheapest form of filling material.

Risks Associated with Amalgam Fillings

Dental amalgam filling has presence of elemental mercury and release of small amounts of vaporized mercury could enter the body via inhalation. Being exposed to elevated mercury levels have been linked to detrimental upshots to the brain and kidney functioning.

FDA has evaluated the preeminent obtainable medical proof for ascertaining if small amounts of vaporized mercury linked to dental amalgam fillings are a reason to be concerned about. On the basis of this proof, FDA deems dental amalgam fillings as carrying no risks for kids (six years and above) as well as adults that have 15 or more amalgam fillings. Being exposed to mercury from dental amalgam fillings has been proven to be lesser than the least levels linked to damage. Scientific researches done on kids over six years and adults have shown no association in-between health conditions and amalgam fillings.

There continues to be partial clinical data regarding the likely consequences of dental amalgam fillings on expectant mothers and their growing fetal health, and on kids below six years of age, inclusive of babies that have been nursed. But, the expected mercury levels in breast milk attributed to dental amalgam is quite less, falling far under the normal acceptable levels for oral consumption that the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency deems free of risk. FDA drew a conclusion that the existent information backs a discovery that there are no detrimental health upshots on breastfed babies whose mothers have had exposure to vaporized mercury due to dental amalgam fillings . The expected everyday dosage of vaporized mercury in kids below six years of age having dental amalgam fillings is also anticipated to be at or lesser than the levels furnished by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) as well as the EPA.

A number of people suffer from allergic reactions or sensitiveness to mercury or the other constituents present in dental amalgam fillings like copper, tin or silver. Lesions in the mouth or other reactions on contact with amalgam filling constituents could arise in such set of people. In case a person has an allergy to the metal constituents in dental amalgam then they should steer clear from such forms of dental fillings and speak with their dentist regarding other substitute choices.

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