What are amalgam fillings?
Dental amalgam is a dental filling material, used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. Dental amalgam is commonly used, as it is a more cost-effective option than white or resin-based fillings and are often more durable. Dental amalgam is comprised of a mixture of metals including liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin and copper.
Potential risk of dental amalgam
Dental amalgam contains elemental mercury. It releases low levels of mercury in the form of a vapour that can potentially be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High levels of mercury vapour exposure can be associated with adverse effects in the brain and kidneys. Dental amalgam, however releases only low levels of mercury vapour and it is considered to be safe for adults and children above the age of six. The developing neurological systems in foetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapour.