St. Paul Family Dentist Discusses Benefits of Mercury-Free Dentistry

Written by Drs. Mark and Rachel Malterud on Apr 24, 2012

The recent concern over the presence of mercury in foods and other products may have you wondering about your older amalgam fillings. Today I’ll discuss why more and more dentists are moving away from this material to mercury-free dentistry.

With the growing concern over the safety of mercury levels in certain foods and other products, Highland Park St. Paul General Dentist has received an increasing number of questions from concerned patients about the mercury contained in their dental fillings. These fillings are referred to as amalgam or sometimes silver fillings, and in addition to other metals they are composed of about 50% mercury.

Although the FDA has deemed amalgam fillings to be safe for use in dental fillings, there is still quite a bit of controversy surrounding their safety and the impact they may have on one’s overall health. It is true that trace amounts of mercury vapor do leak out of these amalgam fillings over time. Understandably, this has many patients concerned about the use of this material in their own fillings and especially the safety of amalgam fillings for their children.

The amount of amalgam fillings used has dropped significantly in recent years, but many dentists still choose to use these mercury fillings. The St. Paul Family Dentist uses only mercury-free fillings made of tooth-colored composite materials, porcelain or gold. While a tooth-colored filling is aesthetically appropriate for teeth that are visible, gold is a strong and durable filling for back teeth that withstand tremendous amounts of biting pressure.

Amalgam fillings can easily be removed and replaced, often strengthening the tooth to a greater extent than the original amalgam filling. If you have broken fillings or mercury fillings you may want to consider having them replaced.  At our practice we are trained in the specialized procedures necessary to safely remove amalgam fillings. Procedure rooms are specifically designed to allow for the safe removal and replacement of old amalgam fillings, including air filtering systems that safely vent out any trace of mercury vapors.

Your safety is our top priority; we follow strict protocols, are highly trained, and have many years of experience in replacing mercury with healthier, non-toxic materials.