June 16, 2006, Newsletter Issue #20: Mercury Fillings

Tip of the Week

So youíve got a really old, veteran filling sitting in your mouth that was originally made with mercury, a terribly poisonous chemical and one that has not be used in fillings for many years.

Fortunately, just as buildings with asbestos donít need the asbestos replaced unless the building is being renovated, you donít need to get that mercury out of your mouth unless the filling pops out or is otherwise damaged. The American Dental Association has ruled that there isnít enough mercury in the filling material to actually do you any harm, so youíre fine letting it be.

If, however, the silver coloring of the filling bothers you and you want a more natural, white-colored filling, you should first check to see whether your dental plan will cover such a replacement. Some dental plans work under a least expensive alternative treatment policy and will not cover a new filling that is being put in for purely cosmetic reasons.

Even though you donít have to worry about replacing your mercury fillings, if you still want to replace them you should consult your dental health plan provider to see if they will cover the procedure.

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