Historically, amalgam fillings were used on a regular basis, but more and more people are choosing to replace their amalgam fillings with amalgam-free fillings and amalgam-free dentistry is becoming increasingly popular.
Why is amalgam-free dentistry becoming more popular?
Amalgam-free dentistry is becoming popular because people are concerned about both the appearance and safety of the fillings they choose. Amalgam fillings, made of mercury and metal alloys, are very obviously made of metal and show up as dark patches in the mouth when you open your mouth to smile. White fillings, which are made of porcelain or tooth-coloured ceramic materials, blend in with the natural colour of your teeth and are therefore invisible when you open your mouth.
People are becoming increasingly concerned with their appearance and as surveys show the majority of people consider their smile their most important feature, it is no surprise that more and more people are willing to pay for white fillings, rather than opt for cheaper amalgam fillings.
The other reason for the growing support for amalgam-free dentistry is concern over safety, with many studies linking the mercury content of fillings to harmful health effects. It is perfectly legal to use mercury fillings in the UK and the USA and many dentists believe that there are no safety issues concerning mercury fillings.
However, many people feel very strongly about this issue and campaigners are lobbying for a change in the regulation of mercury fillings. The debate is particularly fervent in the USA and consultations are currently being held to discuss the future of amalgam fillings.
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