Metal fillings have been used for decades to restore teeth that had cavities. Over time, it was discovered that the mercury commonly used in metal fillings was toxic to humans. Further, it was found that in certain cases, mercury fillings could emit a gaseous toxin that is linked to numerous health problems. If you have metal fillings that were put in years ago, should you have them removed and replaced? Your dentist in Reseda, CA wants you to make an informed decision.
The Prevalence of Metal Fillings
Millions of people today have metal fillings that are partially made up of mercury. Mercury was commonly used as part of an amalgam of compounds that made up cavity filling material. Back then, it was not known how very toxic mercury actually is. Because of this, most adults today have mercury fillings in their mouths. Only in the past 20 years has mercury been identified as the great toxin that it is.
The Dangers of Mercury Fillings
Mercury fillings have been linked to a host of terrible health concerns, including Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, kidney disease and even brain damage. Today, mercury is no longer used in dentistry. In fact, removal of mercury fillings is becoming very common. Surprisingly, though, removing mercury fillings is not always the best thing to do.
The problem has to do with mercury vapors. When mercury is disturbed, it releases vapors. These vapors carry the molecules of mercury. Vapors help to distribute the mercury into the respiratory system, where it can do enormous harm. Not disturbing the mercury means fewer or no vapors, which is best for health.
Professional Opinion on Mercury Fillings
The general professional consensus is, if you have mercury fillings that are in good condition, i.e. not chipped away or disintegrating, then it’s best to not disturb them. In cases like this, it’s best not to remove them. However, if you have older mercury fillings that are visibly damaged, odds are that vapors are already being released. In cases, like this, careful removal and replacement is strongly advised.
Your Reseda, CA dentist can help resolve your mercury fillings problems. Contact us today to book an appointment so you can make an informed choice.