If you are considering getting rid of your metal fillings, you’re probably surprised by the number of people telling you that you should just keep them in. You never realized that so many people had such strong feelings about your fillings and knew so much (or, at least, claimed to know so much) about them.
If people are trying to convince you to keep your metal fillings and not get full mouth rejuvenation, they’ll probably use some of the following arguments, most of which are actually very weak.
They Haven’t Been Proven Harmful
This is one of the biggest arguments put forward in favor of keeping old metal amalgam fillings (and getting new ones). And, to some extent, it’s true. No clinical study has definitely shown harm in humans from metal amalgam fillings.
But let’s consider how metal amalgam fillings are handled outside your mouth. We have to treat it as a highly toxic material, and we’re supposed to have special water separators to keep metal amalgam fillings from getting into the water supply. If the fillings are considered water pollution when they are out of your mouth, how can we be sure that they’re actually safe in your mouth?
Some people will even go so far as to say, “When mercury is combined with other materials in dental amalgam, its chemical nature changes; it no longer has the same properties as the mercury we talk about regarding safety.” But if this were the case, why would the EPA impose such strict controls on handling the fillings?
The FDA Says They’re Safe
Again, this is another basically true statement: the FDA says that metal amalgam fillings are safe for use. But just as no clinical study has shown harm from metal amalgam fillings, neither have metal amalgam fillings really been shown to be safe.
Metal amalgam fillings were first used almost a century before the existence of the FDA, and, therefore, the fillings never underwent the kind of scrutiny that new medical devices and treatments are given. We don’t have that level of data.
And in fact, scientists in the FDA have tried to get more restrictions on metal amalgam fillings, but the policies have not been approved. And while some organizations say that the fillings are safe, there are several others that have concerns. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark have already completely phased out metal amalgam fillings, and the EU is focused on a complete phaseout by 2030.
Mercury Stays in the Filling
This is one of the biggest reasons people will give you for keeping metal amalgam fillings. They will tell you that mercury stays in the fillings.
But if that were really the case, why have studies shown that people with metal amalgam fillings have elevated levels of mercury in their blood (up to 150% higher), including elevated levels of highly toxic methylmercury.
Why Mess with Functional Fillings?
And, of course, even if people aren’t trying to convince you of how safe mercury fillings are, they will come at you with a straightforward practical argument. Why mess with functional fillings?
And, it’s true: if the fillings are functional, there’s no reason to mess with them (assuming they’re not toxic). But in our experience these metal amalgam fillings aren’t usually functional.
People report many problems, such as sensitivity, metallic taste, galvanic currents, and others. In addition, there are often many problems that aren’t clear until we start looking at the filling in detail, such as cracking in the tooth, decay, and even infection under the filling.
Nobody Can See Those Fillings
And if you’re concerned about the appearance of your metal amalgam fillings, people will try to tell you that no one can see the metal amalgam fillings when you smile.
But that’s not actually when you expose your teeth the most. When you’re eating and talking, more of your teeth are exposed, and this can make you self-conscious about the appearance of silver or black metal amalgam fillings.
In addition, some fillings can actually make your entire tooth look dark. And that’s definitely visible.
Don’t Let People Convince You to Keep Amalgam Fillings
If you’re unhappy with metal amalgam fillings, you should replace them. It doesn’t matter if your concern is health, the environment, or function, or aesthetics, this is your choice and you shouldn’t let people keep you from doing what you want.
To learn more about replacing old metal fillings with new attractive ceramic and cosmetic ones, please call (843) 706-2999 today for an appointment with a Hilton Head area cosmetic dentist at the Durham Office in Bluffton, SC.