Should I Get My Silver Amalgam Fillings Removed?

If you have silver amalgam fillings, it's better to get them replaced sooner rather than later. They contain mercury, a toxic heavy metal that builds up in your body.

Should I Get My Silver Amalgam Fillings Removed?

Do you have silver fillings in your teeth? You might want to get them removed. Despite their name, “silver” amalgam fillings are mostly mercury, a heavy metal that is extremely toxic to humans. If you have silver fillings, you’re being exposed to small amounts of mercury vapor every time you chew or brush your teeth.

What Are Amalgam Fillings?

Amalgam fillings are made from an alloy of powdered silver, copper, and tin. However, the agent used to bind those metal powders together is liquid (elemental) mercury. In fact, silver amalgam fillings are typically 50% mercury by weight. The problem is that amalgam fillings release low levels of mercury vapor that gets inhaled when you breathe and absorbed by your lungs.

Mercury amalgam was the standard choice for dental fillings for decades. Even when resin composite fillings became available, they were usually considered a “cosmetic” treatment that was not covered by insurance. Because amalgam fillings are inexpensive, long-lasting, and bond well to teeth, they’re still used by some dentists today.

Amalgam Fillings and Mercury Exposure

But no fillings last forever, so if you have silver amalgam fillings it’s better to get them replaced sooner rather than later. The mercury in dental fillings is bio-accumulative, which means it stays in your body and builds up over time. The longer you’re exposed to mercury from your fillings, the more it accumulates. 

Exposure to mercury can interfere with your nervous system and disrupt your immune system. It can cause headaches, fatigue, mood disorders, and memory loss. If your amalgam fillings ever become damaged, or if they are loosened by further tooth decay, the level of mercury exposure increases. 

Is It Safe to Get Amalgam Fillings Removed?

There is a small risk of exposure to mercury vapor during the removal of amalgam fillings. For this reason, people who are pregnant or nursing should wait to get their fillings removed. But as long as they are removed under controlled conditions by a capable and experienced dentist, the risk of additional exposure is very low. 

Amalgam Filling Removal in Prescott, Arizona

Silver amalgam fillings are not just unsightly, they’re also poisonous. At Prescott Dentistry, we can replace your amalgam fillings with non-toxic, biomimetic materials that are much safer and better for your health. Your future self will thank you! If you’re interested in getting your amalgam fillings removed, contact us today to schedule a consultation.


Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 4/16/2024.