4 Important Reasons for Replacing Amalgam Fillings

replacing amalgam fillings

4 Important Reasons for Replacing Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings, which are silver in color, contain about 50% mercury along with other heavy metals like silver, tin, and copper. While the FDA maintains that these fillings are safe, in reality they release small amounts of mercury, which is exacerbated with chewing and with drinking hot beverages. This can have devastating systemic effects on the body. 

Because mercury is released during the removal process, our team at Prescott Dentistry follows a procedure put out by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicity, called SMART (Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique). Read on to learn about 4 reasons for replacing amalgam fillings with biocompatible composite fillings. 

1. Mercury is harmful to your body.

Mercury can have devastating effects on the whole body because it gets into your bloodstream as it is released from the filling. It is then absorbed into the brain, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, liver, and lungs. While individuals experience different health problems related to mercury exposure, the following are just some of the common conditions that can potentially be caused or worsened by dental mercury:

  • Allergies
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Hearing loss
  • Kidney disease
  • Mercury poisoning
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Periodontal disease
  • Psychological issues
  • Reproductive problems
  • Suicidal Ideations
  • Thyroiditis


2. Composite fillings look more natural. 

Amalgam fillings are silver and when you open your mouth, they are very obvious to anyone standing close enough. Composite fillings, on the other hand, are nearly invisible—they can be matched to the color of your tooth—so no one can tell how many cavities you’ve had filled when you laugh. 

3. Amalgam fillings can cause cracking and decay. 

Unlike composite fillings that can be bonded to the tooth, amalgam fillings expand and contract in response to temperature changes because of the mercury in them. This makes your teeth susceptible to cracking. Because composite fillings are bonded to the tooth, they actually strengthen it and allow for the force of chewing to be evenly distributed, preventing damage to the tooth. Additionally, as the mercury expands and contracts in amalgam fillings, spaces form between your tooth and the filling, exposing areas where bacteria can enter and cause tooth decay—in this case you may end up needing to get a crown instead of just another filling. 

4. Amalgam fillings can cause tooth sensitivity. 

Metal amalgam fillings conduct heat. When you drink hot or cold liquids your natural tooth material insulates the tooth nerve from temperature changes. With amalgam fillings, the metal sends the heat or cold deep into the tooth, which can cause sensitivity. Composite fillings are better insulators than their metal amalgam counterparts and can reduce sensitivity to hot or cold liquids.

Give us a Call

Whether you are thinking of replacing amalgam fillings for cosmetic or health reasons, please contact us today. We’re here to answer any further questions you may have about safe amalgam removal. At Prescott Dentistry, we are passionate—not only about your dental health—but about your overall health as well. 


Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash