The FDA has issued amalgam fillings harmless, however some people are not convinced. Amalgam fillings are silver and color and have a mixture of mercury, powdered silver, tin, and copper. The reality is that there are few things in the dental industry that have gotten more attention than these fillings. In December of 2010, the FDA advisory panel got together again to reevaluate the safety of amalgam. They decided to uphold the prior statement, however they advised the FDA to continue in the evaluation of the safety of these fillings.
Amalgam fillings have been used 150 years. They have been the fillings of choice for so long because it is a very soft metal.
So you may be asking yourself what is the big concern over amalgam fillings. Well some critics have suspect that the fillings lead to neurological problems in fetuses and young children. The FDA acknowledges that the fillings do release very low amounts of mercury vapor that can be inhaled. The FDA concluded that the levels were too low to have any health implications to children above the age of 6. They also stated that the amount of mercury was so low that it did not affect the quality of breast milk to any amount that would affect the infants.
However, despite all this the FDA reclassified dental mercury from a class I device to a class II device. A class II needs special considerations and the dentist needs to warn the patient of any potential side effects.
There are alternatives to amalgam fillings and the truth is most dentists do not use them anymore. There is a new composite resin material that is used in place of the amalgam fillings. In addition to being safer this new style of filling is also white so it blends in perfectly with the other teeth.
Some people with amalgam fillings are concerned about the potential health risks and are seeking treatment to have their old amalgam fillings removed and replaced with newer white composite fillings. Having this done can be expensive, especially if you have more than a couple cavities; unfortunately dental insurance does not cover this, but there are options like discount dental plans, provided by TrueDentalDiscounts.com that do help to offset the costs of amalgam removal by 20-60%.