Lately, there has been a great deal of debate over the use of mercury in dental care. The controversy surrounds the fact that mercury used in amalgam fillings, and some research has indicated that prolonged exposure to mercury may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases. However, most dental health professionals believe that there is not enough evidence to eliminate amalgam fillings from dentistry.
Recently, a group of Texas dentists released a statement saying that they want their patients to understand this debate.
"We want our patients to make informed decisions about the removal of any amalgam fillings," said Clint Herog, D.D.S. "If a patient wants the amalgam removed, we can certainly do it. However, dental amalgam has shown to be an effective material with some real benefits – and there’s still a place in dentistry for a well-placed amalgam filling when no better alternative is available."
One alternative to amalgam is composite resin, which is made with plastic reinforced with powdered glass. Mercury-free filling options are available in about half of all dental offices in the U.S.
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