Mercury is known to be a highly toxic substance that should not even be in contact with your skin. But did you know that some dentists use mercury in materials that they place in your mouth? A dentist would like to talk to you about why you should avoid the use of mercury in dental care.
Q: When is mercury used in dentistry?
When you have a cavity in your tooth, a dentist will want to fill the cavity with something to keep it from progressing and causing your tooth to rot. Traditionally, the material used in these fillings was an amalgam of metals like silver and gold, but not everyone knows that nearly half of the composition of most of these fillings was made up of mercury.
Q: What are the dangers of mercury?
Metal amalgam fillings are considered to be the leading cause of mercury exposure for most people. This is the case because the fillings are known to allow mercury to seep into the mouth where it can be inhaled in its dangerous vaporized form. There are stringent rules for the process of placing or removing amalgam fillings to keep dental workers and the environment at large safe, yet these materials are allowed to remain in the patient’s mouth. Though there is still much debate in dental circles about the dangers of mercury, more and more dentists are choosing to stay away from it and use alternative materials.
Q: What materials can be used in place of mercury in dentistry?
Luckily, modern dentistry has made it possible for fillings to be performed using materials that do not contain toxic metals like mercury. Some of the most commonly used materials by dentists today are porcelain and resin composite materials. Porcelain and resin-based fillings are not only much safer than amalgam fillings but also have the added benefit of being the same color as your teeth so that you no longer need to have unsightly metal spots in your smile.
If you would like to learn more about the dangers of mercury and make sure your smile is free of mercury, visit a dentist who practices mercury free dentistry.