I am often asked by my patients if there is mercury in their fillings. They also ask if it is dangerous to their health. The simple answer is “yes”, there is, and “no”, it is not dangerous, according to the latest available scientific data. Mercury is a component of the amalgam used for “silver” fillings. The other major ingredients are silver, tin, copper, and zinc. When mixed, these elements bond to form a strong, stable substance. In our office we do not routinely drill them out and replace them with white fillings. On the other hand, if the fillings are defective and have to be replaced, we use white composite (plastic) fillings to replace old silver fillings. Composite fillings are much more esthetic and if done properly should last just as long as amalgam fillings.