According to the Canadian Dental Association, mercury has been used in the fabrication of dental fillings for over 150 years and is still considered to be the best option for most dental patients according to numerous policy papers and research.
However, due to the fact that mercury molecules alone are known to be poisonous, dental patients are often concerned when they hear that dental fillings, known as amalgam, are used in the fabrication of these same fillings.
Luckily, patients are often reassured by dentists, who often have amalgam fillings themselves, that the trace amount of mercury found in fillings is much smaller than the amount of mercury average adults are exposed to on a daily basis from our food, water and the air we breathe.
While the dental profession in general, as well as mercury-free dentists in particular, recognize that the amount of mercury contained in the dental fillings has been proven safe time and time again, there is a portion of the population (approximately three percent) who are known to have an increased sensitivity to mercury.
Indeed, it is the role of every health professional to take into account the complete medical history of his or her patient. For that reason, dental patients who have been diagnosed with kidney deficiency, or who work in an industry where they are surrounded by mercury for a longer time period, may be directed towards a mercury-free option to treat their cavities, and thus given alternative options when it comes to choosing a material for their dental fillings.
If you fall in this category, or if you are more comfortable receiving mercury-free fillings, you can always contact a dental clinic where your mercury-free dentist might offer you alternatives to amalgam containing mercury, such as composite, resin, or gold fillings, or types of ceramic inlays, for example.
The best dental clinics understand how to respect the wishes of their patients while also providing them with the best medical advice for their unique needs. As a patient, you are within your rights to ask for a mercury-free dentist visit and should never hesitate to speak to your medical professionals if mercury sensitivity is of particular concern to you.
As your dentist knows, each filling material possesses its own characteristics—fillings are not a procedure where “one size fits all”!
The dental practice, like all other medical practices, is a highly regulated and controlled profession. By choosing a regular dental treatment, or a mercury-free dentist visit, you will be received in a comfortable, relaxing and professional atmosphere.