White or silver fillings

Patients always ask me if I recommend white composite or silver fillings. Silver or amalgam fillings have gotten lots of press lately because of the mercury content of these fillings. I offer both in our office and I let patients decide which is best for them after they have all facts. Silver fillings have been around for over 100 years, and yes a silver filling does contain mercury along with other important metals such as silver, zinc and copper. Silver and zinc prevent the tooth from reinfecting with another cavity. The mercury that is in the filling is inert and bound and does not leak or dissolve. When patients say they want to replace their silver fillings because they are unhealthy , I always ask, what are you going to replace them with? White fillings also contain harmful chemicals such as Bis-Phenol A which does leak and is a know carcinogen. Bis-Phenol-A also damages kidneys and causes diabetes. White fillings leak and many times when I remove a white dental filling, there is usually decay under the white filling. The reason? Bacteria can eat a white filling, bacteria can’t eat silver. Silver has been used for centuries to clean water. In ancient times water was stored in vessel with bars of silver to kill germs. Modern in home water filters use silver to purify water.
We do however use white fillings. We use white fillings on front teeth for aesthetics and we do place white fillings on back molars when a patient request a white filling. We do not recommend replacement of a good silver filling with a white filling. It is unethical and illegal for any dentist to recommend removal of a good silver filling just to replace with a white filling. Any dentist that does this is committing fraud and does not have your best interest in mind. He only has his own best financial interest in mind.
You may have also heard that silver fillings crack teeth, this is false and in fact white fillings have been known to crack teeth during the curing process. Any dentist that tells you that silver fillings cause any systemic disease is scaring you and committing fraud and does not have your best interest in mind.
And that’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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