Any Number of Dental Mercury Fillings Can be Dangerous

49346099 - teeth cavity with the treatment“The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) warns that any number of mercury fillings can be hazardous to a dental patient’s health,” announced Dr. Jack Kall, Chairman of the IAOMT Board of Directors.

This warning is being made due to recent publicity about mercury levels measured in patients with dental restorations. Hundreds of articles from around the globe appeared in print and online last week about a study published in September that was conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia and University of Washington. Their results correlated higher mercury levels in patients with dental mercury amalgam fillings, and the highest levels were recorded in patients who had more than eight surface restorations.

Much of the press coverage about the study confused the term “eight direct surface restorations” with the number of teeth filled, incorrectly informing the public that danger exists for patients with more than eight mercury filled teeth.

In fact, each tooth has five surfaces, which means that a person with only two fillings could have up to ten surface restorations. Concerned about this misunderstanding, the IAOMT contacted one of the researchers of the study, who confirmed that the research was measuring mercury-filled surfaces.

Hundreds of other research articles have likewise demonstrated the dangers of dental mercury. A 2016 Position Paper against Dental Amalgam from the IAOMT contains over 375 sources. Researchers affiliated with the IAOMT also had work published earlier this year, which includes a table of over 50 known variables that can impact an individual’s response to dental mercury fillings. Additionally, the IAOMT recently developed an updated protocol for removal of mercury fillings known as the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART).