The filling of a tooth due to decay or damage is one of the most common dental procedures undertaken – with around 8 million fillings placed last year in the UK alone. A filling allows the dentist to quickly and safely restore the look of a tooth and return your ability to use it properly.
Metal fillings have been used for over 150 years. Combining a mixture of mercury and other metals including silver, tin and copper they are extremely durable and when properly maintained can last for many years.
The mercury used in amalgam fillings is often a cause of worry. However, many scientific studies have dismissed any link between amalgam and health issues. When combined with the other metals, the chemical composition of mercury changes rendering it harmless.
Is amalgam suitable for everyone?
- Occasionally it can be possible to have an allergy to amalgam – in this case, a suitable alternative should be used.
- Pregnant women should avoid amalgam fillings.
- Gold fillings are also available. Composite resin (tooth coloured) fillings are an alternative option for visible teeth –but both will need to be paid for by the patient.