Dental Amalgams

1858 Words8 Pages
Dental amalgams are a great material that provided major leaps in the world of dentistry. While being such a major advance they have also became an issue of great debate. The mercury in dental fillings has been thought to cause central nervous system complications, an overall diminished well-being in some patients, and Alzheimer. The dental field should incorporate safer filling materials for patients. In this article we will take a look at the history of the silver amalgam and view both the negative and null views of this issue.

Throughout the history of dental medicine dentist have searched for the perfect material to aid in the treatment of the most common problem in people’s mouths, cavities. The material would also be useful in fixing chipped and broken teeth. Dentist needed a material that was strong, relatively low costing, easy to apply, durable, and able to limit the growth of bacteria. In the early 19th century in France dentist found their wonder material and that material was amalgam. The dental amalgam is constructed of a mixture of mercury and at least one other metal such as zinc, copper, tin, or silver. The combinations of these metals are the foundation of what gives silver amalgams their strong make up and shiny metallic appearance.

The earliest use of amalgams in dentistry is still quite unknown to researchers but there are claims that it may have been dated as far back as 659 A.D. in China. Before the discovery of the amalgam dentist tried all types of material to help in the restoration of teeth. Stone chips, resin, cork, gum, turpentine, lead, and gold were some of the early materials that were boiled up and poured on teeth to create fillings. A dentist by the name of Louis Regnart had the brilliant idea t...

... middle of paper ...

...ciation, 1996. Print.

Goldman DDS, Michael. Silver Mercury Amalgams Fillings Vs. Composite Fillings. 2005. Print.

Grandjean, Philippe., and Pal Weihe. A New Era of Mercury Hazards. Odense University, 1988. Print.

Harris, Chapin Aaron. (1845) The Principles and Practice of Dental Surgery. Lindsay & Blakiston. pp. 270- 1.

Lorscheider, Fritz L. Inorganic Mercury and the CNS. Department Of Medical Physiology, 1994. Print.

Ring ME. Dentistry, an illustrated history. (New York: Abrams, 1985)

Stone, Mark. Solid Waste Disposal Issues Dental Amalgam. Scientific Review Of Issues Impacting

Dentistry, 1998. Print.

Pyle, Amy. A Debate on Mercury. Times Magazine, 1999. Print.

Symington, Ian. Mercury Mercury Poisoning in Dentist. J.Soc.Occup.Med, 1980. Print.

Vimy, Murray. Mercury from Maternal Tooth Fillings. Accelerated Article. Web. 5 Feb. 2011.

More about Dental Amalgams

Open Document