If there’s one dental material that gets a lot of bad press, causes a lot of concern, and creates much controversy, it’s the use of amalgam fillings – also sometimes known as silver fillings. In Chesterfield, if you’ve been told you need a tooth restoration, the question that weighs on many patients minds is whether or not it’s safe to have amalgam tooth fillings and if there are any other alternatives instead. With this in mind, let’s dive in and find out. First of all, what exactly is an amalgam filling? As you may already know, the word ‘amalgam’ actually means a mixture or blend. That being the case, amalgam fillings are a combination of metals that most commonly include mercury, silver, copper, and tin. This type of tooth restoration has been used in dentistry for over 150 years to replace areas of teeth that have been damaged by decay. It’s a less costly material and is super strong which means it can withstand a great deal of pressure that comes from chewing forces. So what does the FDA say about the safety of amalgam fillings? Many concerns have been raised over the years with regard to mercury being used within amalgam tooth fillings and how much is absorbed by the body. Mercury is needed to help bind the other metals together and makes it a more pliable material. Yet, despite much concern over the safety of this metal, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) state in their report that there’s no clear evidence that the use of amalgam for tooth fillings should be avoided. That being said, if you’ve still got any worries or doubts about having silver fillings in Chesterfield, please let us know. We take your concerns very seriously and will always be happy to discuss any other restorative options available to you. Is there an alternative filling material to silver amalgam? Yes. At Chesterfield dentistry, we also offer metal free restorations called composite tooth fillings to repair broken, chipped, or decayed teeth. This tooth-colored material is fast becoming a popular choice with many patients because despite being a little more expensive than amalgam, it provides a much more natural look compared to silver fillings. Composite fillings were at one time considered less durable than amalgam but the new materials we use are actually comparable to the strength of silver fillings and prove very successful. If you’re in need of a dental restoration or maybe you’re wondering whether you should have existing amalgam fillings removed, why not book an appointment with us on (314) 766 4576. We’d be more than happy to discuss any concerns you may have about silver fillings in Chesterfield or recommend other possible dental materials for your tooth fillings.