There was a time when amalgam fillers were the most popular solutions to salvaging a tooth when some amount of decay was present. Over the years, concerns about the fillers and their health risks have increased. Many dental professionals today choose to offer their clients other filling options. Here are some of the reasons why amalgam fillers could be dangerous for your health.
Amalgam is composed of several different metals as well as a few materials that serve as binders. Over the last century or so, the exact composition of amalgam has changed. It may include silver, mercury, tin, and copper. Trace amounts of other metals like zinc or indium may also be present.
What’s the Cause for Concern?
Much of the concern about amalgam fillers has to do with the amount of mercury included in the material. The question focuses on how much mercury vapour is emitted from the filler and what type of impact it has on general health. At the present time, the Canadian Dental Association does not urge dental professionals to refrain from the use of amalgam fillers in general. However, the Association does recognize that the use of other types of fillers may be in the best interests of individual patients.
What are Some of the Signs That the Filler is Causing Issues?
There are several signs that the amalgam fillers are causing health issues and should be replaced with mercury free fillings in Barrie. Recurring headaches are among the more common signs. When there is no other identifiable reason for the headaches, replacing the older fillings often clears up the issue.
Unexplained changes in mood can also be caused by a buildup of mercury in the system. Depression, anxiety disorders, increased irritability, and mood swings are signs something is not right. If tests indicate unusually high mercury levels in the body and the patient is not exposed to mercury on an ongoing basis, the fillings may be the cause.
Difficulty concentrating is another sign that the mercury content of the fillers is creating problems. Tasks that were once easy to manage are increasingly difficult. Attempting to absorb new information may require more effort.
Keep in mind that patients who have some sort of sensitivity to mercury are at greater risk of developing these and other issues. When the patient is aware of the sensitivity, sharing that information with the dentist in advance is a good idea. Even so, some dentists choose to use other materials for fillings as a precautionary measure.
The ultimate goal of every dentist is to provide each patient with the best possible solution. For some, fillings make it possible to save teeth that would otherwise be lost. At other times, opting for solutions like dentures or dental implants will serve the patient well. When fillings are the suggested solution, discuss the possibility of using something other than amalgam fillers. With so many other options available today, avoiding even the slight potential for complications later on is a wise move.