A 2006 survey revealed that 72% of the respondents were not aware that mercury was a main component of dental amalgam fillings. Here are some facts you should know:

  • The content of what we in the dental profession call “silver amalgam” is approximately 50% mercury.
  • All amalgam fillings emit mercury vapor throughout their life. The amount of vapor is related to the size and number of amalgam fillings plus chewing habits.
  • Mercury vapor from amalgam fillings is absorbed by the body and accumulates in various organs.
  • Dental amalgam is the most common form of exposure to elemental mercury in the general population.
  • Mercury in the body of a pregnant woman will cross the placental barrier and enter the fetus .
  • Each individual has their own threshold at which mercury contamination becomes a health problem. This threshold can change due to aging and other immune system challenges.
  • The Oregon DEQ requires dentists to handle scrap amalgam left over from fillings as hazardous waste.
  • An FDA news release dated July 28, 2009, stated that the levels of elemental mercury released by dental amalgam fillings are not high enough to cause harm in patients.
  • There are good studies published in peer reviewed journals supporting both sides of the question about whether dental amalgam fillings pose a health hazard to the general population.

So are amalgam fillings safe? Should you get all of your amalgam fillings replaced right away? Maybe, maybe not. First educate yourself. I would be glad to consult with you. Also Jeff Clark, ND, is an excellent local resource ([email protected]) as is the IAOMT (iaomt.org)

I will cover more on this subject next time. I welcome your opinions and stories, so please use my email address to contact me.

Yours for excellent dental health,
Dr. S