Dental Care: Dentists Justify Placing Amalgam

Dental Care: Dentists Justify Placing AmalgamDental news articles have reported a reduction in the use of amalgam for dental care by dentists over the past 20 years with new restorative techniques.

In the past, The Wealthy Dentist surveys have consistently shown dentists split on the topic of placing amalgam, with about half of dentists remaining loyal to placing amalgam fillings.

In our most recent survey the amalgam dental care trend holds steady with 58% of dentists responding that they still place amalgam.

“Amalgam is still a great restoration,” said one dentist, “and a good service for the patient.”

How frequently dentists place amalgam varies widely —

27% place multiple amalgams per day, or over 300 per year.
12% place about 10 amalgams per year.
8% place about 1 amalgam per day, or at least 200 per year.
6% place 1 amalgam per week, or 50 per year.
5% place 2 amalgams per week, or about 100 per year.

Dental Care: How Frequently Dentists Place Amalgam

Here are some further dentist comments–

Support placing amalgam:

“It’s easier to work with amalgam versus composite on posterior teeth.” (Arizona dentist)

“A well-placed amalgam can be the difference for a patient who has financial concerns and cannot afford a casting or resin.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“I offer it for patient’s finances and in difficult areas.” (South Carolina dentist)

“Amalgam is an efficient, cost effective, long lasting restoration if done correctly.” (Massachusetts dentist)

“I certainly place more composites and all-ceramic inlays and onlays when it is necessary. Amalgams are good restorations for non-visible/non-esthetic areas and when the restoration will be small. We allow the patient to decide amalgam or composite in that situation. Sometimes they tell us their financial situation dictates amalgam over composite.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“I live in rural America and crowns are not financially feasible for many; so I shovel a lot of alloy!” (Wisconsin dentist)

“It’s the best restorative material to use in some instances.” (Tennessee dentist)

“The most inexpensive restorative material- coefficient of thermal expansion close to tooth structure is key to why it lasts so long compared to composite resin; ease of placement and manipulation is best of all direct restorative materials.” (Indiana dentist)

“They last and last and last!” (Texas dentist)

Against placing amalgam:

“Why would I place amalgams in people’s teeth when I can’t throw them down the drain. It seems that fish get more protection than humans.” (General dentist)

“My thoughts about all things that go into the body are: If there is a question about the safety of a product — don’t use it. I hear many questions about the safety of amalgams. There are other dental care products I can use until the questions are answered.” (Texas dentist)

“Amalgams cause the teeth to fracture.” (California dentist)

“I stopped altogether in 1995 when resins became usable as a replacement. Primary reason was I feared a potential class action type suit against any dentist using the material. Pretty pathetic but in this litigious society you have to CYA.” (New Jersey dentist)

“I wouldn’t put it in my dog! I can’t throw it in the garbage legally, but I can place it in your mouth?” (New York dentist)

“We have better materials. We don’t need to use a restorative that was developed in the 1890’s just because it’s easier and cheaper. If it were introduced as a new material today it would never make it or even be allowed. It just doesn’t make sense to use it. Yes, they mostly last “forever,” but at the expense of the tooth.” (General dentist)

“If the scraps are a danger to my assistant, how can I justify placing one in anybody’s mouth?” (California dentist)

“Interesting that the government has rules on the collection and disposal of amalgam as a hazardous waste from the dental suction system BUT feels there is no problem placing the material in someone’s mouth??? Go figure!” (Connecticut dentist)

“I don’t place them, and haven’t since the beginning of my career. However, it’s not because I think they are inferior or toxic. On the contrary, I believe amalgam is a great material. It’s just that composite is a great material when placed properly, AND it looks better.” (Texas dentist)

The ADA states that dental amalgam is a safe, affordable and durable material containing a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance for dental care.

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

  • Shesam7747

    I’d like to see the percentage of dentists that place NO amalgams per week.

  • Leo_B_Crutcher

    Not having insurance would just be completely crazy. I am an accountant and in my local area “Penny Medical” is the best health insurance finder I ever had. Yes my insurance does cover dental and eye insurance which is a big help to my life.

  • Doc-EL

    That figure is included in this article. It is 42%

  • Guest

    There are only 2 places amalgam is legally disposed of, an EPA facility or the human body.  I guess we are lucky uranium wasn’t an option for restorations.

  • Its false economy to think that poisonous amalgam is the cheapest and best for poorer patients. These patients become ill- at some point– with minor or major ailments caused by inhaling the mercury vapour coming off their filling. It costs a lot to be ill. Money to the doctor’s and hospital’s pockets and the possibility that the patient will be unable to carry on working and earning.

  • The vast majority of UK and USA dentists now let themselves off the hook by including white fillings as well as mercury fillings on their list of services available. This menu usually hangs in the reception area. Thus if an uneducated patient see the comparitive prices of a slightly cheaper mercury they will tend towards that. The dentist is therefore released from his obligations to ‘do no harm’. The patient is then self-harming!

  • guest

    if amalgams kill people, how come I’m not dead?

    pseudo-science.  there is no evidence of amalgam fillings harming humans.  interesting to see that the internet is what kills people.

  • Dentalegal

    If you didn’t learn that mercury is a poison, and if you didn’t learn that mercury comes out of amalgan fillings by chewing and/or brushing, then you don’t deserve a dental degree.  The rest is up to your own ethics.  Mercury accumulates in human organs; and change in the structure or function of a human body is a legal harm, which you may have caused.

  • Oddy

    Most of the materials used in dental and medical treatment including all drugs are toxic to our body.   Do not be concern of only one material but all including potential unknown toxicity of the composite (color) fillings, and do not let the government ‘s political correctness and make-no-sense regulations to tell the health professionals what is toxic and what should be used ( for example,  amalgam cannot be disposed in the regular trash and so as human tissue like extracted teeth and blood-contaminated materials.   In California, dentists cannot allow patients to take their own extracted permanent teeth……)  .     All we can do is made the best of what we know and what we have regardless of the poor or the rich. 

  • Catherine

    Thank you all for your feedback on amalgam placement and for commenting on this survey – Catherine

  • Rdredwine

    Have you ever worked on a severe ADHD child or adult or just a 2 year old whose parents do not want sedation?  The nearest pediatric office is 2 hours away.  Amalgam is fast, inexpensive, and does not require complete moisture isolation. 

    Even I, a dentist, have had amalgam placed in my own mouth as a child and have no educational or mental deficiencies. Even my parents have dental amalgam who are over the age of 70 and have no adverse health affects. 

    I have not seen one professional article that proves that the removal of amalgam has cured anyone from their various illness such mental disease, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease are the leading causes of death in America.  Do you really think that not placing amalgam is going to change that? The fourth and fifth leading causes of death is stroke and accidents.    I have also not seen any professional article that claims that people are exempt from these ailments because thet have not had amalgams.   Seriously, people, you are going to die of something and it isn’t from your dental fillings.

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