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Does a silver amalgam dental filling have adverse effects?

Q: I am an IT professional based in Mumbai. I am in mid thirties and have been diagnosed as having 1 cavity in my upper tooth on the LHS. Dental cavity fillings using silver amalgam consisting of hazardous metals like zinc, mercury are said to have many adverse effects on the liver & other organs in the long term. I have been advised by the industrial health hygienist attached with WHO to avoid such filling and to go for synthetic amalgam which is preferred as it has no adverse effects due to non-reactive chemicals and is also aesthetic since there is no visible sign. My dental surgeon strongly suggests opting for silver amalgam instead of synthetic filling material as my cavity is deep and using synthetic filling can be harmful for the pulp. Is the silver amalgam a cheaper option for patients as well as for dentists? If so, is that why I have been advised to opt for silver amalgam? Please advise.

A:A silver amalgam filling does NOT cause any damage to any of our body parts - all the ingredients are in a chemically reacted form and not in free element form. That silver fillings are safe to use has been repeatedly stressed by the WHO, the FDI ( which is the parent international body of dentists), the American Dental Association, The British Dental Association etc. The choice of the filling depends on the particular situation and can and does vary from case to case. It is best left to your Dentist to decide what is best for you.


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