Patients' safety is the top priority of any health care provider. A trusted dentist in Philadelphia, for instance, makes sure that the substances to be placed in a patient's tooth cavity are free from any toxic material. An article written for Colgate.com discusses dental amalgam, a substance widely used as dental filling, which contains mercury, an element that is known to be harmful to human health. Despite the FDA's conclusion that amalgam is safe to use, there's still speculation about its safety considering several known facts, including mercury’s effect on several body systems. The controversy over amalgam centers on how much mercury fillings released and how much the body absorbs. In the past, amalgam fillings were thought to be inert. This would mean that no mercury was released once the filling was placed in the tooth. In recent years, sophisticated tests have changed this view. Very small amounts of mercury in the form of vapor can be released as the amalgam filling wears.
Dentists performing dental filling installation observe safety protocols in handling amalgam for several reasons. One reason is to protect themselves from the effects of constant exposure to mercury when they prepare the amalgams. Another important reason is to protect the patient – dentists don't want any physical or chemical changes that can potentially trigger irregularities in the release of the amalgam’s mercury content.
In the past, many dentists have used amalgams as tooth fillings. Fortunately, there are now several alternatives that do not contain mercury or other harmful chemicals. Those who have previously been treated with amalgam fillings may want to consider having their fillings changed to the newer, safer materials that are available today, with the help of a reputable dentist in Philadelphia. The Colgate.com article describes how amalgams may be removed:
If you are getting an amalgam filling or having one removed, your dentist will use high-powered suction to remove any excess amalgam from your mouth. Dentists' offices have special disposal systems for any extra amalgam. Special traps in the sink drains prevent amalgam from entering the plumbing system.
One of the effective alternatives to amalgams that dentists use today is called biocompatible filling, a resin-modified material that does not contain any substance which may be harmful to human health. Many dentists, like Dr. Gerald Regni, DMD, who use this filling substance instead of the traditional amalgam, claim that this is a holistic approach for treating cavities. Holistic dentistry is gaining popularity because it encompasses not only a person’s oral health, but that of the entire body.
(Article Excerpt and Image from Dental Amalgam: A Health Risk?, Colgate.com)