The element mercury in its pure form is toxic to humans. The good news is that when it is combined with silver into a compound called amalgam, it becomes inert. That makes it safe for using for dental filings. Using over 100 years of data, the American Dental Association has determined that it is safe for use. In fact, it is considered unethical for a dentist to recommend removing “mercury” fillings for health reasons. If a dentist tells you that you need all of your “poisonous” fillings replaced, it’s time to run out the door.
The newer tooth colored fillings are approved for use in back teeth. Although they don’t last as long as the silver fillings, they are still a very reasonable alternative to the metal ones and they look great. The cost of amalgam fillings is about 20% less than tooth-colored. At Gangwisch Dental Group, we normally use the composite (tooth-colored) materials, however, we will place the amalgam ones upon request.