The name “silver filling” is misleading.
Yes, they do contain a small amount of silver (along with copper and tin) but these fillings are mostly composed of mercury.
Mercury, as we should all know, is a toxic heavy metal. It has been shown to cause health problems, specifically to the brain, nervous system, kidneys, and in unborn children.
Beyond the physical problems silver fillings can create, they can also result in mental-emotional issues as well, including:
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
- Memory issues
- Mood swings
Mercury Is Not Biocompatible
According to Merriam-Webster, biocompatibility can be defined as the compatibility with living systems or tissues by not being physiologically reactive, injurious, toxic, and not being the source of immunological rejection.
If it’s not safe for your body, it’s not biocompatible.
Many countries in Europe – including the UK, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark – have banned or heavily regulated the use of mercury in dentistry for this reason.
Problems During & After Silver Filling Placement
Silver fillings are hard and have no adhesive quality. This means their application requires a lot of force – they have to be wedged into place, which causes microfractures in the tooth.
Microfractures are great places for plaque and bacteria to build up and thrive, which can just lead to further tooth decay in the future.
What’s more, silver fillings expand and contract when sudden changes in temperature occur in your mouth. Eating ice cream or drinking hot coffee is going to lead to a natural warping of a silver filling, which not only exacerbates existing microfractures but creates new ones.
Finally, there is the issue of mercury vapor being released on a consistent basis. This can occur every time you brush and floss your teeth, clench your teeth, or eat.
The Alternative To Silver Fillings
Resin-based fillings are quickly replacing silver fillings for a number of reasons.
- Resin fillings look and feel just like natural teeth. In fact, after some time has passed, it’s likely you won’t even remember which tooth had the cavity filled. This is a great aesthetic option for people who don’t like the “metal mouth” look.
- Resin fillings are naturally adhesive, making their application gentle – no microfractures. ● Resin fillings remain relatively stable in size even with changes in temperature – again, no microfractures.
- Resin fillings, most importantly, are biocompatible – they don’t pose any health risks.
Silver Fillings Can Be Replaced With Resin Fillings
If you have silver fillings and want them replaced with resin fillings, there are plenty of dental clinics that will do this.
If you have a silver filling that has become loose or fallen out (a common occurrence with silver fillings) then consider having it replaced with a resin filling instead.
Dentists have to follow a strict protocol when installing and removing silver fillings so as to not release too much mercury vapor at once – that’s how potentially dangerous this dental product is.
It’s no wonder resin fillings are quickly replacing silver fillings as the cavity-solution of choice in modern dentistry.