Removal of Amalgam Fillings


Amalgam/Silver fillings may be removed for several reasons including:

  • Chipped fillings and/or broken tooth structure adjacent to the amalgam filling
  • Tooth decay underneath filling
  • Health reasons
  • Aesthetic appearance

X-ray showing amalgam fillings in white
Same Patient after Ceramic restorations that comes very close to your natural teeth



Toxic Silver Fillings

Do your old amalgam fillings make you sick?

Amalgam: What is it?

Amalgam is a compound made up of different metals including copper, tin, silver and a liquid form of metal at room temperature, called MERCURY (50% makeup of the alloy).  The mercury is used to bind the metals together in order to place it as a dental filling.  Thus, half of the composition of a dental filling is mercury.

History of Amalgam used in dentistry:

Amalgam has been used since the 1800s- thus a restorative material of choice for over 150 years. Why would some dentists still use it as a restorative option in these modern times? Because it is cheap, ease of use by the dentist, long lasting, strong and durable. The other reason also may include the resistance to change by the dentist who is used to the material amalgam for so many years.  Also, dental schools still use it in their educational regime. However, a long and ongoing debate of weather it is toxic or not to our nervous system (i.e. brain) AND the environment sparked concern in countries and patients worldwide.

Banning of Amalgam

The seriousness of evidence received is so apparent, that Scandinavian countries banned the use of amalgam in 2008, amongst them Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Signs and Symptoms associated with mercury vapor poisoning:

Fatigue Tremors Memory loss and/or concentration problems Headache The list is ongoing

When should you have your mercury fillings removed and replaced?

Grinding your teeth Eat acidic foods or drink a lot of fruit juices Drink a lot of carbonated drinks, i.e. Coke, Sprite etc. Detection of tooth decay underneath the filling (confirmed by a digital radiograph) Cracks in the filling and/or missing pieces of the filling If the silver filling appears black this means further corrosion of the filling and an indication of a failed defective filling

In conclusion:

Mercury IS highly toxic to our nervous system as well to the environment We live in modern times with the best alternative fillings that will outlast amalgam easily Have your dental check-up regularly!  It is the best to have no fillings at all! Happy Chewing, DentistrySA