Are Dental Fillings Safe?

Are Dental Fillings Safe?
Posted on 11/11/2022

Dental fillings used to repair cavities are made of several materials that are sturdy and long-lasting, and in most cases are perfectly safe for patients. Concerns developed about one type of widely used filling because it contains mercury, but time has shown it poses limited if any, risk.

What Are Dental Fillings Used For?

Dentists use fillings to fix cavities or otherwise damaged teeth. At Gentle Smiles of Colorado, our patient-focused periodontics in Denver, led by Dr. Tim Wachuta will consult with you to discuss the best solutions to reach and maintain your dental goals for your best smiles.

Types of Dental Fillings

Fillings are made of:

  • Porcelain or ceramics
  • Quartz or glass, combined with resin
  • Gold
  • Amalgam, which is liquid mercury, combined with powdered copper, tin, or silver

Concerns About Mercury in Fillings

Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings because of their appearance, have been used since the 1800s. It was only in the 1970s that concerns arose because of mercury's known toxicity. After several scientific studies, however, it was found that they pose little risk to most people. If you already have amalgam fillings and they are in good shape, the FDA recommends that you leave them in place.

Patients Who Might Avoid Amalgam Fillings

The Food and Drug Administration also says some patients should choose a different type of dental filling. These include:

  • Patients who are pregnant or expect to be nursing mothers.
  • Children younger than 6.
  • People are particularly sensitive to mercury.
  • People with kidney or neurological problems.

For those patients, dentists have fillings that don't contain mercury.

Other Filling Materials

While dental amalgam has proven to be sturdy and long-lasting, other types have improved and may work just as well. Resin-based fillings are the same color as teeth, may be easier to place, and don't contain heavy metals. They also may pose risks for a few people, check with your dentist for details.
Whether you need fillings or just a check-up, Dr. Tim Wachuta and his periodontics in Denver practice can help. Call today for a consultation!

Dr. Timothy Wachuta

  • Denver Office - 2709 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO 80222 Phone: (303) 756-2770 Fax: (303) 758-5705
  • Golden Office - 2305 Jackson St., Golden, CO 80401 Phone: (303) 278-2800 Fax: (303) 278-8448
  • Wheat Ridge Office - 8850 W. 38th Ave., Suite D, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 Phone: (303) 425-5100

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