Dental Fillings

Fillings are required when teeth are worn down, chipped, broken, are sensitive to temperature or have cavities. If left untreated, the condition of the teeth will usually worsen and may require more complex treatments such as root canals or even extractions. There are 2 types of fillings:

  • White (composite resin) fillings and
  • Silver amalgam (mercury) fillings.

Most people are unaware that silver amalgam fillings are made up of about 50% or more of mercury. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It was once thought that once placed in the mouth, the amalgam was very stable and inert. This has been found to be incorrect: large amounts of mercury are released from amalgams placed in the mouth, especially when one is chewing or eating/drinking warm foods or liquids. Students of dental schools are taught that a single filling can poison a small lake! The only benefits of mercury fillings are that they are easier to place in the mouth, last a long time and are less expensive than white fillings.

White fillings do not contain mercury, are more aesthetically pleasing as they blend in better to natural teeth color and are bonded to the tooth. They may contain chemicals that may be questionable, such as Bisphenol A, which has been shown to be a hormonal disruptor. From a technical perspective, white fillings are slightly more difficult to place which is why they are less inexpensive than mercury fillings.

Mercury is being phased out worldwide due to its toxicity. As a result, most dentists will choose to insert white fillings over silver ones. Dr. Peter does not suggest routine removal of dental amalgams, unless there are specific signs of metal toxicity and/or allergy or if the fillings are failing. Above all, patients should practice good oral hygiene, have a healthy diet, strong immune system and avoid cavities in the first place.