I recently found an article on ada.org which stated that amalgam fillings do not affect children's brain development. This article was interesting to me because I plan on attending dental school upon leaving Morris. This past summer I had the opportunity to work as a dental assistant so I am familiar with some of the materials used for fillings. The dentists that I worked for used a composite material which is a synthetic resin. The composite material was used 80% of the time because the material allows for good adhesion and is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. However, amalgam is a cheaper option.
Authors of this study looked at the neurological effects. As many people don't know amalgam contains mercury combined with other metals such as silver, copper, tin, and zinc. Researchers performed studies on Portuguese children who received either amalgam or composite fillings and performed routine neurological examinations. I learned that they look for two types of neurological signs, hard and soft. Hard indicates damage to specific neural structures and soft indicates central nervous system dysfunctions. Children were also checked for the presence of tremor. The children were checked after 7 years to see if there were any damaging effects. Researchers found that even though the amalgam contains mercury, the mercury did not affect their neurological status. Amalgam has been used since the 19th century and many countries are phasing out mercury within the amalgam. I have had amalgam composites in the past and unless there is sufficient evidence of them causing severe effects, which I have not encountered, fill 'er up!