Last month, the Berkeley City Council began working to create an official ban on dental amalgam fillings within the city limits. Although several small California cities have passed informal resolutions advocating the gradual fade out of dental amalgam fillings, it seems that Berkeley might be working for something more enforceable. They considered the legality of any such possible action and found that it was likely not preempted by state law. If Berkeley successfully takes such an action, other small towns, especially ones with existing informal bans, may pass similar laws, although it’s unlikely that other big cities would pass such an ordinance.
Why Berkeley Is Acting Now
People have been expressing concerns about mercury amalgam fillings since we became aware of the extreme toxicity of the substance. However, hard facts on the negative consequence of mercury amalgam fillings has been lacking. For example, although we know that if a mother has amalgam fillings, her baby may be exposed to a level of mercury thought to impair neurological development, but we have not been able to confirm the effects of the fillings.
We have, however, become increasingly able to pinpoint the spread of mercury throughout the body and its effects. In 2012, researchers looked carefully at data collected for children in Portugal, and identified that boys age 8-12 with a specific chromosome did actually show neurobehavioral effects.
As it did with the previous resolutions, the California Dental Association (CDA) has come out against the measure proposed by Berkeley. The CDA has long defended metal amalgam fillings as being a safe, durable, and inexpensive alternative for patients, and it seems to remain unphased by current research.
Many Reasons to Avoid Metal Amalgam
Not everyone accepts that metal amalgam fillings can cause harm. But we all accept that they are unattractive. The fillings begin silver, which means they stand out against the white enamel in your teeth. They also darken with age, turning black, which can make them look as bad as the decay they’re intended to replace.
So, whether you’re concerned about the health effects or the appearance of your smile, we can help. We can replace your metal amalgam fillings with metal-free white fillings made either of composite resin or complete ceramic, crafted with our CEREC machine while you wait.
To learn more about white metal-free fillings, please contact Country Club Dentistry in Rancho Mirage today for an appointment.