As parents, we often wonder why our children’s teeth are turning silver. This phenomenon is known as dental amalgam, which is a mixture of metals used to fill cavities in teeth. The silver color comes from the mercury in the amalgam, which is mixed with other metals such as silver, tin, and copper.
Why is Dental Amalgam Used?
Dental amalgam has been used for over 150 years to fill cavities in teeth. It is a durable and long-lasting material that can withstand the pressure of chewing and biting. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to other filling materials such as composite resin.
Is Dental Amalgam Safe for Kids?
There has been some concern about the safety of dental amalgam, particularly in children. The mercury in amalgam is a toxic substance that can be harmful if ingested in large amounts. However, the amount of mercury in dental amalgam is very small and is considered safe by the American Dental Association and the Food and Drug Administration.
Studies have shown that the amount of mercury released from dental amalgam is very low and does not pose a significant health risk. In fact, the amount of mercury that a child is exposed to from dental amalgam is much lower than the amount of mercury they are exposed to from other sources such as fish and air pollution.
What Are the Alternatives to Dental Amalgam?
There are several alternatives to dental amalgam that can be used to fill cavities in teeth. These include composite resin, porcelain, and gold. Composite resin is a tooth-colored material that is made of a mixture of plastic and glass. It is a popular alternative to dental amalgam because it is more aesthetically pleasing and does not contain mercury.
Porcelain and gold are also alternatives to dental amalgam, but they are more expensive and require more time to place. Porcelain is a tooth-colored material that is made of a type of ceramic. It is durable and long-lasting, but it can be brittle and may chip or crack over time. Gold is a metal that is very durable and long-lasting, but it is also very expensive and may not be aesthetically pleasing.
Dental amalgam is a safe and effective material for filling cavities in children’s teeth. While there has been some concern about the safety of dental amalgam, studies have shown that the amount of mercury released from dental amalgam is very low and does not pose a significant health risk. There are also several alternatives to dental amalgam that can be used to fill cavities in teeth, including composite resin, porcelain, and gold.