At dinner one night, my friend Sam mentioned that he had seen a new dentist. The dentist is located in Beverly Hills, CA and has taken over for the previous dentist who retired. Initially I thought Sam was just sharing, but soon realized something was bothering him.
Sam was concerned; amongst other dubious information, he was told the silver fillings in his mouth were poisonous and it was recommended that he have them removed. Being that I am a registered dental hygienist, this immediately set off alarms in my head.
People, if you ever hear those words come out of a dentists mouth, seek another dentist. While very few people have an allergic reaction to the silver or amalgam fillings, this is a false claim that can lead to agony and the loss of time, money and teeth.
In 1986, the American Dental Association Council on Ethics, Bylaws, and Judicial Affairs concluded that “removal of amalgam restorations solely for the alleged purpose of removing toxic substances from the body, when such treatment is performed at the recommendation of the dentist, presents a question of fraud or quackery in all but an exceedingly limited spectrum of cases.”
The truth is amalgam fillings present a very low risk of harm to us. Replacing them at the dentists request for no other reason other than they are silver should be avoided. If you do not like the appearance of your silver filling or they are breaking ask the dentist what he or she suggests. Just know, with all dental treatment there are risks including broken teeth, dental nerve damage and even tooth loss.
I recommend waiting until the amalgam fillings expire due to breakage, recurrent decay or leakage. When that time comes, then change it up to a tooth colored restoration you can smile about.
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