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According to a recent article in the Calgary Herald, US regulators are seeking a second opinion on the safety of mercury-containing fillings for dental patients, particularly children and pregnant women. The regulators are seeking expert opinions on the amount of mercury that dental patients are exposed to and what level of exposure is considered safe.
This is a positive step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of dental patients. In my opinion, there are far better alternatives to mercury fillings available today, such as white fillings and porcelain. I have not used mercury fillings in my practice since 1999, and even if it is determined that mercury vapors do not pose a risk, the environmental impact of amalgam waste is too significant.
The Canadian Dental Association recommends the use of mercury separators in the suction systems of dental offices to reduce the environmental impact on our waterways. While amalgam (mercury) fillings have been a valuable asset to dental health, we now have alternatives to replace non-functional old fillings and any new fillings.