If you’ve been watching news from the dental community, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Mercury Mouth” being used, due to the concern for the safety of amalgam tooth fillings. An FDA advisory panel of scientists and other dental health experts met in 2010 after the FDA stated in 2009 that these fillings were safe for adults and children over 6 years of age. While they upheld the 2009 statement, they did urge the FDA to continue to review the issue.
The reason for the concern is that amalgam tooth fillings contain mercury, which is known to cause various health problems. The belief is that the level of mercury is too low in fillings to have an adverse health effect. The fact that these types of tooth fillings have been used for 150 years does add credence to this ruling, as there are plenty of people who have had these fillings for decades with no ill effect whatsoever.
Most tooth fillings performed today are not amalgam, and are instead a newer composite resin material that is tooth-colored, so they are far more popular for those wanting a natural appearance. If you have amalgam tooth fillings and are concerned about your health or your appearance, we can change the tooth fillings for you. Although amalgam tooth fillings have a pretty long lifespan, in time they will most likely need to be replaced anyhow. If you aren’t concerned, then keeping them is perfectly fine, and many choose to do so because their lifespan is longer than the composite resin alternative. Feel free to discuss this topic with us during your next dental appointment with G.R. Sheumaker Jr. DDS in Lakeland, FL.