Some dentists surprisingly still use dental amalgam, the material used to fill cavities for over 150 years today. Fillings made with amalgam, also are known as silver fillings, have been a subject of concern because amalgam contains mercury. Actually, amalgam is made from a combination of metals including silver, mercury, tin and copper. In some cases, there may even be small amounts of zinc, indium or palladium that are used in silver fillings.

If you have a silver filling, chances are that you had it done quite some time ago. According to Dr. Dana Rockey, a wellness-based dentist located in Newport Beach, “If a patient has silver fillings, the fillings should be assessed and monitored to see how they are holding up.” In Rockey’s experience, there’s a good possibility that these old fillings have separated from the tooth and may be slowly seeping metals into the body as the silver (amalgam) material dissolves away over time. The tooth should also be assessed for fractures to the tooth structure itself.

Dr. Dana Rockey, DMD uses some of the most advanced dental technology available today and can judge how well the restoration is working or not. Rockey and his staff use internal oral cameras to take photos and get an up-close look.  

Some industry experts suggest getting a second opinion if a dentist doesn’t bring up the issue of the silver fillings during routine examinations. That was the case with a patient who had too many questions regarding their teeth and they were looking for some answers that they hadn’t been getting (see video, “Case Study: Receding Gums and Silver Fillings”). She was looking for some education as to what was going on with her gum recession and her silver fillings.

Watch the video and learn more about silver fillings and the importance of maintaining a proper seal on all fillings, crowns and dental restoration.

Dr. Rockey hasn’t done a silver filling in many years because there are excellent metal-free alternatives that work well and are esthetically better.

If you would like to have Dr. Rockey examine your silver filling, or, to get a second opinion, contact Dr. Rockey at (949) 642-4632.

 

Did you know?

1819: A Mercury-based dental amalgam filling was invented by the English chemist, Bell. 

1826: The dental amalgam mercury filling was first used in England and France.

1830: Amalgam fillings were used in the United States. Numerous harmful effects were soon widely reported.