As a general dentist in the Army, I placed my share of silver fillings in the mouths of many a soldier. Now as an orthodontist, I still run across many of these fillings in my patient’s mouths. These silver-colored restorations, also called dental amalgam, have recently come under scrutiny due to unsubstantiated reports that they may release harmful mercury vapors upon chewing certain foods. Most scientific evidence currently indicates that this simply is not the case. The most recent statement by the American Dental Association assures the public that dental amalgam continues to be a safe, durable and affordable restoration for children and adults. The decision about what filling material to use is based on a variety of factors such as size and location of a cavity, insurance coverage, and any cosmetic and functional concerns you may have. Remember that the best dental filling is no dental filling, so be sure to brush, floss and eat a balanced diet to help prevent cavities in the first place. As your orthodontist, I’m concerned not only about your beautiful smile, but about your overall dental health. Feel free to talk to me anytime about your dental treatment options.