Are silver fillings bad for you and should you remove all silver fillings?
These are common questions that are proposed by our patients. The ADA and FDA comments are that they are safe despite allegations that they leak mercury. We do know that silver fillings are older technologies and they do contain mercury and some mercury does leach from the silver fillings into your body, but how much of it is actually detrimental and dangerous? There have been studies that silver amalgam can cause Alzheimer’s, but it has not been proven because there are many other factors that come into play.
So, should you remove your silver fillings or not? That is the crucial question….. We know from many of our patients and for almost 20 years of practicing, we have seen many silver fillings that patients have opted to replace solely for esthetic reasons end up with a lot of decay under them when we remove the silver. Silver fillings are not bonded to the tooth so they tend to leak more and therefore allow bacteria and saliva to leak under the fillings over the years and allow decay to reach under and behind the silver fillings and these decay can sometimes be difficult to detect since they do not show up well on x-rays. So should one replace all silver fillings? We would recommend that as they get older and seem to be pulling away from the tooth and show signs of leaking, to replace them. White fillings are bonded to the tooth and presents less leakage and does not leak mercury. White fillings are not only esthetic, they are better for the tooth as less tooth structure is needed to be removed in order to have them placed.