Dr. Stone's Office

Is it true that mercury in amalgam (silver) fillings isn't safe?

There is no conclusive proof that the amount of mercury in amalgam fillings is a danger to your health. But many patients are concerned that the presence of mercury may be harmful.

Amalgam fillings – a combination of metals, including mercury – have been widely used because of their strength and durability. They were most often used for strength in very large fillings and for molars, which need to withstand a lot of wear and tear while chewing.

Aside from the concerns about mercury, amalgam fillings are just plain unattractive because they are obvious and also tend to darken over time. Amalgam fillings also tend to shrink over time, pulling away from your tooth and increasing the risk of breaks and cracks that can damage the remaining healthy tooth structure.

With improvements in dental materials, we now have the option to use composite fillings because they are every bit as durable as amalgam. Tooth-colored fillings are very stable, do not shrink, and will provide support for your tooth for many years. Another advantage of composite fillings is that Dr. Stone needs to remove only the decayed portion, leaving more healthy tooth structure intact and further strengthening your natural tooth.

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