Mercury was a common ingredient in many fillings throughout the 20th century. In fact, in many countries mercury has been banned as an ingredient in fillings.
However, the Australian Dental Association is not yet convinced. They suggest that amalgam fillings should be reduced but they are not advocating a total ban on them.
While you may not realize it, amalgam fillings are as much as 50% mercury. Amalgam fillings are silver-coloured and have been used by dentists for many years as they are durable. In many cases, a filling can outlast the patient.
The strength of these fillings made them a preferred choice for back teeth where cavities tend to be larger and high levels of force are needed while chewing.
However, because these fillings have mercury in them, it is essential that you use a reputable dentist, such as this Dentist St Leonards, and that you understand the health implications.
What Is Mercury
Mercury is a metal substance that arrives in many forms, including solid, liquid, and as a gas.
Interestingly, it is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature. It’s a silver-white colour but will slowly tarnish in oxygen.
Fillings use mercury and merge it with tin, copper, zinc, or even silver to create a filling. It’s worth noting that it is also a good conductor.
The Effects Of Mercury
It has been known for many years that mercury can have a negative effect on the human body. In fact, it’s connected with the original ‘mad as a hatter’ saying.
This is because mercury reacts with the neurological system in your body, potentially damaging brain cells and causing mental difficulties.The damage can take years to materialize but cannot be reversed.
Mercury poisoning also causes irritability, nervousness, and even causes people to be excessively shy.
Concerns Regarding Fillings
Dental fillings are partially liquid mercury and partially a mixture of solid metals including silver, tin, and copper. It’s inserted in the mouth I putty form with the mercury encased by the harder metals.
In theory, this makes the mercury safe as it cannot enter your mouth.
However, if anything were to apply enough force to the filling to shatter it, the liquid mercury could be ingested which would be likely to be fatal.
In addition, recent research suggests that the mercury is able to slowly leach through the other metals and enter your bloodstream.
While this can take years to happen the result is still mercury in your body and this can travel to various cells and cause damage, as already mentioned.
What To Do Next
If you have amalgam fillings you should seriously consider having them removed and replaced with ones that don’t contain mercury.
This s the safest option, along with insisting that mercury based fillings are not used in your mouth.
Most dentists already adopt this approach. But, it is worth checking before you have any work done to ensure you are not putting your health at risk.