Do we always remove them? No, but see below.
But aren’t they toxic? Dozens of long term studies done over 20+ years have not found any clinically significant evidence of any systemic toxicity associated with amalgam. We rarely use them here at Dental on Flinders, but that’s not to say it isn’t safe.
Are there any other concerns? Due to the thermal expansion of the metal, amalgam can cause cracks leading to tooth fractures. If a crack is diagnosed, it needs to be monitored closely and the amalgam needs to be replaced with an onlay or crown if indicated.
Anything else? Tooth grinding/clenching and amalgam can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure you wear a night splint to prevent cracks created from amalgams from propagating.
Dr Max Ganhewa
BDS Otago, NZ
Registered with AHPRA, Member of the Australian Dental Association, Victorian Dental Association, and Australian Endodontic Society, Invisalign certified,