For over 150 years, dentists have been using mercury fillings in the sealing of cavities. Mercury is used in blend containing copper and silver. There has arisen a debate on whether the presence of the mercury metal is harmful for patients. This is because the mercury leaches into the body and is said to have harmful effects on the body.
Those against the use of mercury in the fillings argue that it is toxic to humans therefore should not be used. It is absorbed by the body and finds its way to organs such as heart, kidneys, liver and the brain. It can cause adverse effects such as autism, skin changes, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Also wrongful disposal of these fillings by dentists causes pollution to the environment.
Those who advocate the use of these mercury fillings say that there is no proof that they are harmful to the health of patients. In fact they are still considered the best choice when it comes to choosing fillings to use. The other alternative fillings only last half as long and they also contain synthetic material that is proven to cause harm to the body.
Advocates of the use of mercury fillings also argue that the body already has a limit set for acceptable mercury levels in the body. Therefore if it is in low quantity below this level as found in the mercury fillings, then it cannot have any adverse effects on the body. It is with such studies that some countries have not banned the use of mercury fillings for dental practices. Other countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway have banned the use of mercury fillings.
There are contradicting studies when it comes to the effect of mercury fillings. Some studies show that there is no supporting evidence to prove that the mercury fillings are harmful to human health while others show that there is some truth to the claim on its adverse effects. This is one debate that is not going away soon until a study proves the effects of mercury as harmful.
If you are not sure whether to use mercury fillings or not, you can talk to your dentist who will let you know if the fillings is appropriate for you. There are many other non-controversial fillings that are available. Mercury fillings are preferred as they are considered more durable and stronger than alternatives. There are some fillings which use inorganic mercury which is considered inactive in the body.