Dear Dr. Diesburg:
Should I replace my metal fillings? I’m concerned about mercury.
Thanks, Stan in McMinnville
This is a question we get a lot in our office. The short answer is: No, you don’t need to replace a filling simply because it is a metal, or alloy, filling. Some patients worry about alloys leaking mercury, which they do. But extensive studies have shown that the amount of mercury that leaks out, even if you have a mouth full of metal fillings, results in less metal exposure than if you eat seafood once a week.
Your body knows how to cope with low levels of metals. Alloys can go bad eventually, though. At every one of your check-ups, I will look for any leaking and cracks in your existing fillings. If there is something wrong, I will suggest we replace them. If your metal filling bothers you, I can replace them with composite material. But for your overall health, it is not necessary to replace them just because they are metal.
Dr. Adam Diesburg, D.D.S., McMinnville Dentist