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Why don't silver fillings rust?

4849 day(s) ago

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Mr. Boxy
A "silver" filling is also called an amalgam filling because it's an amalgam of several metals including silver, zinc, tin, and copper. These are bound together by mercury which gives the filling its silver color. This type of filling does "rust," but the resulting material from this corrosion acts as a binder, sealing the filling to the tooth and preventing further damage from bacteria. Corrosion stops once this layer has been formed, beginning again only if the shape of the tooth changes. This ensures the durability of the filling.

OK, I know what you're thinking: "Isn't mercury poisonous?" Yes. However, the amount of mercury released by these fillings is minute with only a handful of cases of allergic reactions after billions of uses. In fact you are at a greater danger of being convinced by a quack doctor claiming that healthy amalgam-filled teeth should be removed. Instead of "healing" from supposed poisoning patients instead end up with serious dental and jaw problems. If putting mercury in your mouth still bothers you, there are porcelain and gold alternatives although the lack of corrosion means they don't seal as well as amalgam.

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