Are You Concerned About Mercury?

Dental fillings are very common, and fillings can be made from many different materials, including composite resin, gold, porcelain, and amalgam. Amalgam fillings — frequently called silver fillings — are made from mercury, silver, zinc, copper, and tin. Because these fillings contain mercury, some people raise questions about their safety. But should you really worry?

At Dr. Darj Dental, we prioritize sharing the most up-to-date information with you so you can make informed decisions about all of your dental care, and we offer mercury-free dentistry. In this post, Mehrnoosh Darj, DDS explains when you should (or shouldn’t) be concerned about mercury and what your mercury-free options are.

How is mercury used in dental fillings?

Amalgam is a metal alloy, and it’s used in dentistry because it’s so strong and durable. Amalgam fillings contain about 50% elemental mercury while the remaining 50% is made of other metals, such as silver, zinc, tin, and copper. Note that elemental mercury is a liquid that evaporates into a vapor.

Amalgam isn’t just used for fillings. Dental crowns are also constructed of many different materials, including amalgam. 

Are amalgam fillings safe?

Amalgam is used because it’s strong — and it’s been used for decades — but is it safe? While high levels of mercury are toxic to humans, the American Dental Association reaffirmed in a September 2020 statement that amalgam fillings are safe and effective. 

Likewise, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration contends that amalgam dental work is safe and that any mercury vapors levels are within the safe threshold.

Potential pitfalls of mercury-containing dental work

Despite the prevalence of mercury in dental work, it may not be right for everyone. Some individuals are more sensitive to metals in general. Mercury, copper, zinc, and tin can cause oral lesions in those individuals. 

Other cons of amalgam fillings and crowns include the potential ability of metal crowns to hide damage in your teeth — the X-ray can’t penetrate through the metal. Additionally, metal crowns and fillings stand out more when you smile because they don’t match the shade of your teeth.

What are the alternatives to metal fillings and crowns?

When it comes to mercury-free dentistry, you have many options. For example, porcelain crowns can replace metal crowns. Porcelain is strong, durable, and blends in nicely with your natural teeth.

Likewise, composite resin can replace amalgam fillings. Composite resin is made of acrylic resin and powdered glass filler, and this material is popular because it is tooth-colored so it blends in nicely with your smile. Dr. Darj explores all of your options with you so you can make an informed decision.

Mercury-free dentistry is ideal for those who don’t want the tell-tale metal fillings and crowns, for those who are sensitive to metals, and for those who’d rather avoid mercury.

To learn more about mercury-free dentistry at our El Paso, Texas office, call Dr. Darj today. You can reach us at 915-213-4097 or book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

I’m Uneasy About My Dental Appointment

If you’re feeling nervous about your dental appointment, you’re not alone δΈ€ but don’t let that stop you from getting the care you need. In this blog, we share five strategies for overcoming your nervousness, including dental sedation options.

Who Needs Dental Sealants?

Are you looking for ways to reduce your risk of cavities? Sealants don’t replace a good oral care routine, but they can go a long way to reducing your risk of decay. Find out what dental sealants are and who can benefit the most from them.

Help! My Teeth Are Yellow

Don’t let yellow teeth keep you from smiling! At Dr. Darj Dental, we offer a variety of cosmetic options — including professional-grade teeth whitening and veneers — to help you achieve a dazzlingly bright smile.

Health Benefits of Straighter Teeth

While straighter teeth have a dramatic impact on the aesthetics of your smile, did you know that there are also health benefits of having straight teeth? Read on to see how ClearCorrect can support your oral health.

Get a Hollywood Smile Quickly With Veneers

Although veneers were invented in 1928 for actors, you don’t need to be a celebrity to enjoy the perks of veneers. Read on to learn how you can quickly achieve your dream smile with veneers.

4 Causes of a Toothache

What’s causing your toothache? From cavities to infections, there are many reasons why your tooth might hurt. Keep reading to learn four common causes of toothaches and what to do if your tooth starts to ache.