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Fiction: Silver Fillings Should Be Replaced

Dentists have used silver-colored amalgam fillings -- made of a blend of mercury, silver, copper and other metals -- for more than a century. From time to time there are anecdotal accounts that suggest the tiny amount of mercury content in these fillings may be associated with neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis, but health organizations including the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say amalgam fillings are safe. Ongoing research hasn't found compelling evidence that these type of filling cause health problems, so replacing them is not recommended. “I don’t remove them unless there’s new decay that must be restored,” says Ruchi K. Sahota, D.D.S., spokesperson for the ADA. In fact, many dentists still use amalgam because it’s easy to work with, cost-effective and durable.

(CREDIT: Y. Studio/Photodisc/Getty Images)
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