Current Events: Amalgam Fillings & Safety
1st Family Dental has been keeping track of the emerging news stories regarding potential safety concerns related to dental amalgam as a restorative material.
Amalgam fillings are most commonly referred to as “metal” or “silver” fillings. Amalgam is a combination of metals bound together with elemental mercury. The American Dental Association (ADA) as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently list dental amalgam as a safe and effective material for dental restoration. In early March 2014, a lawsuit was filed against the FDA challenging the agency’s stance on the safety of elemental mercury. You can read the text of the complaint filed here. We will be keeping track of the progress of this suit as well as related rulings and findings, and will keep you up to date on key information.
In the meantime, we at 1st Family Dental would like to share the following information with you:
1st Family Dental does not use amalgam material for fillings and dental restorations. Instead, we use composite resin material at all of our locations for fillings and restorations. We made this choice because we believe composite material, also known as “white” or “tooth colored” fillings, to be an effective treatment option for our patients. Composite material is also more natural looking than amalgam. We also made this choice because while we follow the guidelines provided by regulatory bodies such as the FDA, we want to go above and beyond to make sure all of our patients feel comfortable with our clinical practices.
REPLACING FILLINGS: 1st Family Dental does not recommend replacing composite or amalgam fillings, unless there is an issue such as wear, decay, pain, cracking or breaking of the tooth or filling. If you notice any of the issues listed above, we recommend you see your dentist as soon as possible for an exam.
REGULAR CHECKUPS: 1st Family Dental recommends regular exams to check the condition of dental restorations. At each regular check up and cleaning, your dentist will check the condition of any dental restorations, including fillings. This is a critical part of the standard oral examination. If the dentist notices any issues with your existing fillings, he or she will discuss their findings with you as well as provide you with treatment options.
At 1st Family Dental we believe oral health is the key to whole-body health, which includes peace of mind. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, we encourage you to contact us any time, and to speak with your dentist about this topic at your next appointment.