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In recent years, with the improvements in composite resin (tooth-colored fillings) and increasing public concern regarding the toxicity of amalgam fillings and the potential effects on the body, amalgam fillings have become a less popular choice among the dental industry. At 1ST Dental & Orthodontics, we only use composite resin (tooth-colored) fillings, which are a durable, esthetically pleasing, and mercury-free alternative.
Amalgam is an alloy used for dental fillings that contains approximately 50% mercury, ~22-32% silver, ~14% tin, ~8% copper and other trace metals. Amalgam has been used for dental fillings for over 150 years.
The public concern about the toxicity of amalgam fillings is a controversial topic. Dental amalgam does contain mercury, which can release a low level of mercury vapor that can be inhaled. High levels of mercury vapor exposure have been associated with adverse effects in the brain and kidneys. Based on the best scientific evidence available, the FDA at this point has ruled that amalgam fillings are safe for adults and children ages 6 and above. You can read more about Amalgam and the FDA's position on this topic here.