There is really no reason to ever get a mercury amalgam filling today. In fact, there is really no reason to have these types of fillings in your mouth at all. Amalgam fillings, also called silver fillings, were the go-to restorative material for years. This is because it was simple to place and hardened like a rock, and cheap. The problem is that after a period of time, the material begins to break down. This leaves small gaps between the tooth and the filling where bacteria get in and begin tooth decay. They also expand and contract at different rates than normal tooth structures. This leads to cracks forming in the teeth that many times results in the tooth fracturing. If this happens, the tooth may need to be extracted. When the filling breaks down, bacteria are able to infiltrate around and under the filling. Sometimes this causes the nerve to become infected and the tooth abscesses. And many times there are no symptoms, but the nerve in the tooth is already dead.
These fillings are banned in many countries because of the mercury in them. A lot of European research states that mercury-containing amalgam fillings are detrimental to one’s health. In 2005, the World Health Organization stated that amalgam fillings may cause damage to the nervous, digestive, respiratory, immune systems, and to the kidneys, besides causing lung damage. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology also states that adverse health effects from mercury exposure can be: tremors, impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, insomnia, emotional instability, developmental deficits during fetal development, and attention deficit and developmental delays during childhood. There is no reason not to have your mercury fillings checked by a dentist who practices with a holistic philosophy. Doing so is a step in the direction towards better health.