The American Dental Society has announced that beginning the first of the year both Sweden and Norway have banned the use of mercury-silver (amalgam) fillings. Throughout Europe the use of mercury-silver fillings has been in decline for the last decade for both environmental and health reasons. Sweden cited health reasons for the ban and Norway for environmental reasons.
Here in the United States, the use of mercury in silver fillings is still considered safe by the American Dental Society and our government. It has been used for over 100 years for restoring tooth decay, however amalgam is approximately 50% mercury. A paradox exists however in the use of mercury-silver amalgam for restoring a tooth with decay. After placing the amalgam into a patients tooth our dental assistants are required to treat the remaining unused portion of the amalgam as hazardous waste taking special handling precautions and waste disposal.
My question is why is a patients mouth the only safe place to keep mercury amalgam filling material?
Fortunately, today we have several proven alternatives to mercury silver fillings. Today metal free dentistry is a reality for restoring decayed, broken down teeth. These alternatives are all tooth colored resins, composites, and porcelains that are not only beautiful but strengthen teeth as well. They can be used directly as fillings or indirectly as inlays, onlays, or even crowns.
If you have any questions concerning mercury silver fillings please don't hesitate to give our office a call.