I’m not really sure what to think about this whole mercury-free thing. I’ve had silver fillings all my life and they are completely fine. Now that I have kids, I’ve become more conscious about what they are exposed to – even down to the chemicals I use in our home. I guess it would make sense to opt for mercury-free at the dentist. The only problem is that we love our current dentist. He isn’t mercury-free, so we’d have to go somewhere else. My kids adore the guy and his staff, so I’m wondering if it’s really worth it to switch? — Meredith
The American Dental Association (ADA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and even the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) all agree that silver fillings are safe because the amount of mercury is small. On the other hand, there’s a big movement to get away from them and many private organizations agree.
These days, most dentists will do a composite (tooth-colored) filling if you ask for it. Ask your dentist – you might found out that he rarely does amalgam – and doing a white filling will be no problem. There are dentists who prefer to do silver fillings on kids, simply because it’s often hard to keep kids still and their mouth dry enough to successfully place composite. Depending on how young your kids are or how well they cooperate at the dentist may determine the choice. If your dentist thinks amalgam is best, you’ll have to look for an alternative if you want to go mercury-free. Pediatric offices are usually pretty good about working with kids and keeping them calm while dental work is being performed. They also can offer sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help keep kids comfortable and relaxed. Good luck!
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.