Concerned About Traditional Dental Fillings?

Concerned About Traditional Dental Fillings?

The ‘amalgam question’ and answers from our Ipswich dental team.

The use of amalgam in dental fillings has been around for a very long time now. It is a very strong material that offers a high degree of functionality and is long lasting.

From a patient perspective though, it is also very dark in colour, due to the metal compounds used in it, and is therefore highly visible. For some patients too, there is the question of the use of mercury in this material.

In this week’s Foxhall Dental Practice blog, we look at some of the most common concerns amongst patients regarding the use of amalgam fillings for dental cavities.


It is a fact that mercury is a toxin. This does not mean that it is dangerous for dental patients though and the General Dental Council has deemed that it is safe as a component of an amalgam filling. For those patients of our Ipswich practice who prefer to avoid the use of amalgam though, we are able to offer an alternative in white dental fillings instead, whether for safety concerns or simply for a more natural appearance in order to enhance a smile.

Removing amalgam fillings

Some patients concerned about the mercury aspect of amalgam have asked us whether they should have them removed. This is, of course, the prerogative of the patient but it is worth noting that removing them may actually be more problematic than leaving them in place in some cases. Whilst we make every endeavour to keep all risks to a minimum, it is important that patients are aware of this so that they can make an informed decision. We will discuss the various aspects with you before any treatment begins.

The alternatives

For many cavities, it is nearly always possible to use a tooth coloured filling. These are made from non metallic sources including glass particles and acrylic resin which can be adjusted to match the colour of the rest of the natural tooth. For this purpose, they are an excellent choice for anyone wanting to have a great looking smile. Indeed in most cases they are sufficiently strong and can be used in all but the largest cavities.

Where much larger cavities, such as those on the rear teeth, need to be filled, the use of amalgam can still be avoided, and inlays or onlays used instead. These offer a higher level of strength than white fillings where larger ones are required. Please see our website or ask our local team for more details about this.

If you are concerned about your amalgam fillings and you wish to have them replaced, or if you are simply wishing to get rid of the dark appearance of traditional fillings and would like to know more about the cosmetic white versions available at the Foxhall Dental Practice, please call us at our Ipswich clinic on 01473 258396.