If you are a member of the “Baby Boomer” generation, as I am, you probably have several “silver” or “amalgam” fillings in your teeth. Until the mid 1980’s or early 1990’s these fillings were the preferred material for restoring posterior (bicuspid and molar) teeth. One big drawback to this material is that it contains Mercury. As most of us know, Mercury has been linked to a number of diseases and is a known neurotoxin. There have been several documented cases of patients with neurological disorders, such as MS, which were improved or even reversed ostensibly by the removal of their silver amalgam fillings. However, the dental profession is still divided as to whether wholesale removal of these fillings is justified. My feeling is that when corrosion and pitting is evident in a silver filling, or if the filling is older than 15 years, then it is time to replace it with a newer composite filling. Composite fillings are just as durable as the silver fillings, but they are much more aesthetic in appearance. A well-placed composite filling is tooth colored and is almost invisible to the naked eye (see photo).
If you are concerned about having silver fillings in your body, as many of our patients are, please ask us to give you a free assessment when you come in for your next cleaning.