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  1. 20 Mar '15 15:27
    Are Mercury Amalgams safer than the alternatives?

    In Europe, Norway
    and Sweden have enacted legislation that has banned Hg amalgam in their countries. In 2008, Norway’s Minister of Environment Development Erik Solheim said: “Hg is among the most dangerous environmental toxins.

    http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Adviso...e/DentalProductsPanel/UCM236379.pdf

    Did Norway and Sweden ban amalgam primarily because of environmental concerns or health concerns? Are dental fillings in Sweden and Norway better for peoples health in those countries?
  2. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    20 Mar '15 15:40
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Are Mercury Amalgams safer than the alternatives?

    In Europe, Norway
    and Sweden have enacted legislation that has banned Hg amalgam in their countries. In 2008, Norway’s Minister of Environment Development Erik Solheim said: “Hg is among the most dangerous environmental toxins.

    http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Adviso...e/DentalProductsPanel/UCM236379 ...[text shortened]... concerns? Are dental fillings in Sweden and Norway better for peoples health in those countries?
    A generally quite blasé attitude to mercury has been replaced with an overcautious one. There are better alternatives to mercury amalgam to replace it. The mercury in tooth fillings is trapped in the amalgam so shouldn't be biologically active and even if it could be released it would only be in tiny amounts. The newer alternatives are better and look more like tooth enamel. If you're worried about your fillings then don't be. I don't know the reasons for the banning of mercury in tooth fillings in those countries, it could well be environmental concerns, but legislation is often passed due to lobbying. So it might simply be to give one set of industrialists an advantage over another.
  3. 20 Mar '15 17:47
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Did Norway and Sweden ban amalgam primarily because of environmental concerns or health concerns? Are dental fillings in Sweden and Norway better for peoples health in those countries?
    I can't read the minds of those governments, but I'd say a. both and b. yes, but long-term. Mercury is a poison, but unless you're a hatter it's a slow one, and while modern fillings are safer than mercury ones, there are more important things to worry about. Still, we have better fillings, so why not switch?

    Also, let's be shallow here, ceramic fillings simply look better than metal ones, being the same colour as the tooth around them.
  4. 21 Mar '15 01:46
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    A generally quite blasé attitude to mercury has been replaced with an overcautious one. There are better alternatives to mercury amalgam to replace it. The mercury in tooth fillings is trapped in the amalgam so shouldn't be biologically active and even if it could be released it would only be in tiny amounts. The newer alternatives are better and look ...[text shortened]... to lobbying. So it might simply be to give one set of industrialists an advantage over another.
    "If you're worried about your fillings then don't be."

    I'm not worried about existing amalgam fillings. I want to know if I should avoid getting new fillings with amalgam. Amalgam is supposed to be harder than the alternatives and preferred for filling teeth in the back of the mouth where chewing is harder. The irony is that more pressure on amalgams supposedly causes more mercury to be released.
  5. 21 Mar '15 01:58
    Originally posted by Shallow Blue
    I can't read the minds of those governments, but I'd say a. both and b. yes, but long-term. Mercury is a poison, but unless you're a hatter it's a slow one, and while modern fillings are safer than mercury ones, there are more important things to worry about. Still, we have better fillings, so why not switch?

    Also, let's be shallow here ...[text shortened]... lings simply look better than metal ones, being the same colour as the tooth around them.
    "Still, we have better fillings, so why not switch?"

    Amalgam is more durable and recommended for back teeth. Resin is typically put in front teeth. I once had a back tooth filled with resin and it slowly eroded away because I never went back to get a cap put on it like I was supposed to.

    I read that resin fillings are getting stronger than they used to be, but for all I know the resin fillings may not be good for you. I did read there are health concerns with them too, just not sure what. It does seem like a filling that erodes away more is consumed while eating more so I see a potential downside there.
  6. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    21 Mar '15 02:37
    I did a little research on this some years ago so not sure
    if what I am about to say is still valid.

    1. Amalgam is totally safe while it is in your filling.
    2. The danger is when amalgam is drilled - the fine dust
    ingested does constitute a danger.
    3. Therefore replacing amalgam fillings is a no-no.
    4. Low doses of Mercury have been linked to depression.

    Ever since I have insisted on no amalgam fillings - but I
    have a mouthful from before making that decision.

    AND I AM NOT MAD
  7. 21 Mar '15 08:45
    Are Mercury amalgams still used in USA? Why?
  8. 21 Mar '15 12:55
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Are Mercury amalgams still used in USA? Why?
    Yes, Mercury amalgams are still used in the USA. It is cheaper than the alternatives and I'm also wondering if insurance will cover the more expensive alternatives.
    I am also wondering if the alternatives are more durable than they used to be and if so how much? I read somewhere that the alternatives were not good for you either, but I have not found any info on that yet.
  9. 21 Mar '15 15:13
    I don't have any mercury fillings. AFAIK they were phased out decades ago.
  10. 21 Mar '15 16:29
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I don't have any mercury fillings. AFAIK they were phased out decades ago.
    What kind of fillings do you have? Do they last very long when put in back teeth?
    Would you avoid mercury amalgams if you had to pay more?
  11. 21 Mar '15 20:24
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    What kind of fillings do you have? Do they last very long when put in back teeth?
    Would you avoid mercury amalgams if you had to pay more?
    Not sure what's in them. They're the ones with a similar colour to teeth. So far they've lasted since they were put in.

    No one has offered me an option to get mercury amalgams, but since fillings cost so little I doubt it would be a relevant consideration for me.
  12. 21 Mar '15 23:17 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Yes, Mercury amalgams are still used in the USA. It is cheaper than the alternatives and I'm also wondering if insurance will cover the more expensive alternatives.
    It is less expensive in the short run, yes, but what about in the long run?

    Mercury will always end up in nature, no matter what. How expensive is it to get rid of the mercury from there...?
  13. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Mar '15 00:12
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    It is less expensive in the short run, yes, but what about in the long run?

    Mercury will always end up in nature, no matter what. How expensive is it to get rid of the mercury from there...?
    Any filling is better than no filling. No filling just gets you lost teeth. I have had mercury fillings for something like 50 years now and I am now 73 and haven't seen any negative effects yet. The amount of mercury is so small you wouldn't get in too much trouble if you just ate all the mercury in its native form.
  14. 22 Mar '15 14:03
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Any filling is better than no filling. No filling just gets you lost teeth. I have had mercury fillings for something like 50 years now and I am now 73 and haven't seen any negative effects yet. The amount of mercury is so small you wouldn't get in too much trouble if you just ate all the mercury in its native form.
    And when you die, then they extract your mercury fillings? Or do they bury it all in the grave, mercury and all?
    If you are cremated, they let your mercury goes into the air in smoke?
  15. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    23 Mar '15 07:37
    Originally posted by Metal Brain
    Yes, Mercury amalgams are still used in the USA. It is cheaper than the alternatives and I'm also wondering if insurance will cover the more expensive alternatives.
    I am also wondering if the alternatives are more durable than they used to be and if so how much? I read somewhere that the alternatives were not good for you either, but I have not found any info on that yet.
    I used to have some mercury fillings, but they were all replaced by porcelain or composite resin by about 15 years ago. My dental insurance generally covers composite resin fillings, but not the entire cost of porcelain onlays or inlays (which are needed for bigger jobs). For porcelain it will cover the cost for a comparable metal filling and I have to pay the difference. The insurance would cover a gold crown (at least up to the annual limit), but not the entire cost of a ceramic crown -- although it's kind of moot because the cost of either, together with a root canal, can easily exceed the annual limit of a typical plan. One easy to forget benefit of dental insurance is that the cost of almost everything is capped at lower prices than you'd pay if you just walked in off the street with no insurance.