Metal free dentistry
Harmful effects of amalgam Composed of an alloy of silver, copper, tin, zinc and 50% mercury, dental amalgam has been used for 150 years to fill decayed teeth. Although no serious pathological fact has been noted following its use, experts and dentists wonder about its toxicity. The presence of mercury is worrying, and the debate is very real. Does gray filling make you sick? Some phenomena are known: chewing and teeth clenching release mercury fumes and cause the metal to dissolve in saliva. However, its presence in the body remains well below the threshold for harmfulness and no biological effects have been observed. The issue is serious and has been investigated by Health Canada. The latter does not prescribe the discontinuation of the use of amalgam fillings.
Nevertheless, the Health Canada Stakeholders Committee has issued several recommendations to dentists concerning this matter. Judicious use is at the top of the list. For the band, the use of alternative sealing materials is therefore recommended when possible. Why continue to use the amalgam? The silver alloy is proven to be durable, strong and has antibacterial properties that prevent recurrence. In general, it is not recommended to systematically replace this type of filling except in cases presenting real risks, such as allergic hypersensitivity. This material remains to this day better than all the resins and cements that are currently offered as substitutes, with the exception of metallic or ceramic inlays. The decision whether or not to use the amalgam becomes a personal choice. Some will continue to use it cautiously if they deem it appropriate, others will simply banish it from their practice. In any case, do not hesitate to ask your dentist about the risks associated with the use of amalgam fillings. He will be able to explain to you his point of view and the reasons why or not, to use the amalgam for the treatment of cavities.