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Over the past 150 years, a material called dental amalgam has been used by most dentists to fill in cavities. This material is a mix of elemental mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Unfortunately, because a majority of dental amalgam is made of mercury, it can release low levels of mercury vapors over time.
While the FDA has classified dental amalgam as safe for people over the age of six, there has been limited research on the effects of mercury vapor exposure on fetuses, nursing babies, or children under the age of six. Despite ruling dental amalgam “safe,” the FDA has also raised the danger classification of the material from class I to class II, deeming it requires more extensive regulation to maintain a safe level of quality control.
Are Mercury Dental Fillings Dangerous?
While mercury-filled dental amalgam material has been used by dentists for over a century, recent doubts and questions have been raised as investigations into the health risks associated with the material have begun.
Data on the subject is still limited, and due to ethical considerations, performing studies on people exposed to low-level mercury vapors from their fillings has proven difficult.
What Are the Health Risks Associated With Mercury Poisoning?
The level of mercury vapor exposure due to dental amalgam fillings is low, but as it occurs and is present over an extended period, it can become significant.
High levels of mercury exposure can lead to severe damage to the lungs, kidneys, and brain. So far, no studies have successfully proven that dental amalgam fillings expose patients to dangerous levels of mercury vapor; however, low-level mercury exposure is linked to fetal growth issues, according to The National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Allergic reactions to dental amalgam, whether due to mercury or another element within the compound, can create additional adverse health concerns.
If you believe you have an allergic reaction or are concerned about long-term health effects, you may wish to remove your fillings.
What Is Safe Mercury Removal?
Many patients are looking for ways to remove the mercury-infused fillings in their mouths. There are potential dangers when removing fillings, including the risk of increased mercury vapor exposure if extracted poorly. Dr. Tomazin is a SMART-certified dentist who is experienced and skilled in safe mercury amalgam removal techniques. This knowledge and experience will reduce the potential adverse health effects of mercury vapor exposure during removal.
Interested in Learning More About The Risks of Dental Amalgam?
Dr. Chad Tomazin has been proudly serving the Inland Empire community for years. For those interested in removing mercury-filled dental amalgam from their mouths, he brings compassionate care and expertise to each patient’s dental needs.
If you are looking for more information on dental amalgam, mercury vapor exposure, or certified doctors in your area, please contact our office in Riverside, California, by calling (951) 686-3666 or by filling out our online form.