Dangerous Silver Amalgams?
For over 180 years a debate has been going on about the safety of Amalgam fillings. Amalgams are a combination of silver, tin, copper and mercury.
Recently, TV celebrity Dr. Oz touted the dangers of silver fillings. Dr. Oz got his television start on the Oprah Winfrey show. His shows are designed to be sensationalistic and he promotes himself as an expert on every topic he presents on his show. I do not have a very high opinion of Dr. Oz. He needs to stick to his area of training (cardio thoracic surgery) and not give bad information about dentistry.
I am married to a MD, my father-in-law is a MD, my brother-in-law went to medical school after I had become a dentist. None of MD family members know dentistry. They do not get trained in dentistry. It is skipped over in medical school. So I comfortably say that “I know more about dentistry than Dr. Oz”. Dentistry is what I was trained to do. Dr. Oz has given horrible dental advice in the past (suck on lemons to get a whiter smile? Hello acid erosion and destruction of the teeth!) Don’t listen to celebrities giving health advice.
But let’s get back to the Dr. Oz scary silver fillings:
Not a single credible scientific study supports Dr. Oz’s claim. The American Academy of Pediatrics, Alzheimer’s Association, and National Multiple Sclerosis Society all have statements on the safety of dental amalgams. None of these organizations claim that amalgams cause any sort of health problem. There is no evidence to support removing silver fillings in an effort to prevent or cure other diseases.
I personally only place 2 to 3 silver fillings a year in my Pasadena Dental office. That is less that .01%. The problems with silver fillings are:
1. Need to remove healthy tooth.
In order to get a silver filling to stay in place, more tooth structure has to be removed. This is because there is no chemistry involved with the silver filling. The silver filling stays in place by mechanical undercuts in the tooth. A dentist placing a silver filling almost always has to remove healthy tooth structure to create these undercuts. Therefore, the base of the filling has to be wider than the top. Over time the weakened tooth can crack or fracture causing more problems.
Do you want a dental filling that is ugly and silver? Or would you prefer a white dental filling that looks like your tooth? Pretty easy decision!
I have a couple of silver fillings in my back molars. Yes even dentists can get cavities when they are kids. I have kept my silver fillings because as I tell patients “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
I use composite (white) fillings 99.99% of the time in my office. I like that I ONLY have to remove the decay. I do not have to sacrifice healthy tooth structure. The composite material allows me to be conservative in your dental care. Plus, the composite fillings are very cosmetic.
You must be careful of the dental information you hear on the internet or on TV. I have dedicated myself to dentistry. If you have a question ask me! Remember, the best dental filling is no dental filling. Make sure to brush, floss, visit the dentist for checkups and eat a balanced diet to help prevent cavities.
Visit us at 3421 Burke Rd Ste A, Pasadena, Texas 77504 or call our office at 713-941-8261 to see why Dr. Nugent has been voted Best Dentist in Pasadena Texas multiple times. Get the best dental care possible for you and your family.