by Dr. O. Karnakova
Amalgam fillings or otherwise known as silver mercury fillings are composed of different metals including silver, tin, copper, zinc, and mercury as the primary metal. Amalgam fillings were widely used for restorations in the past, but studies now show they may have negative effects on the teeth and overall health. Some cities have even began to place a ban using this material for restorations.
One of the main problems with amalgam fillings is that it corrodes, releasing mercury vapor that can be absorbed into the body. In addition, the metal fillings will expand over time, putting unnecessary stress on the tooth structure. Eventually, the filling itself or the tooth structure may crack or fracture.
Amalgam fillings are not bonded to the tooth, which requires more removal of healthy tooth structure when compared to composite fillings. Since silver mercury fillings are not bonded to the tooth, tiny fractures can start to form from chewing, and the filling may leak. Bacteria can leak underneath the filling and cause recurrent decay.
It is important to consult with your dentist regarding the types of materials used for fillings, as each type of restoration varies on a case-by-case scenario.