The fillings and crowns available in the NHS can be made from a variety of materials. Fillings are used to repair cavities in teeth caused by decay. Your dentist will provide you with the type of filling they deem clinically necessary. The most common type of filling is dental amalgam, which is composed of a mix of different metals.Dental amalgam fillings are often used on the back teeth, as they are strong and durable.
There have been several articles on the Internet discussing the potential toxicity of amalgam fillings. While amalgam fillings can release low levels of mercury vapor, particularly when placed or removed, there is no evidence that mercury exposure from amalgam fillings has any adverse health effects. If a child under 15 years old requires a filling, your dentist may opt to use other materials. These include tooth-colored fillings or preformed (stainless steel) crowns. Dental implants are only available on the NHS if there is a medical need for treatment.
It is estimated that around 2 million people believe they cannot access dental care in their area, meaning that almost one in ten people may not be able to visit the dentist. Dentists are private contractors for the NHS, which means that dentists purchase the building and equipment, hire all staff, and pay all operating costs, including salaries, materials, and insurance, to provide an NHS dental service.