This footage from the 2010 FDA Dental Products Panel Hearing on dental amalgam mercury shows professionals and patients discussing the human health risks related to mercury as a result of so-called “silver fillings.”

Play Dental Amalgam Danger: Mercury Fillings and Human Health

Dental Amalgam Danger: Mercury Fillings and Human Health

Tooth in mouth with saliva and silver-colored dental amalgam filling containing mercury

All dental amalgam mercury fillings contain about 50% mercury and can pose a danger to human health.

All silver-colored fillings are dental amalgam fillings, and each of these fillings is approximately 50% mercury. Although a number of other countries have banned or limited their use, dental mercury amalgams are still being used in many regions of the world, including in the USA.

Mercury is continuously emitted from dental amalgam fillings, and it is absorbed and retained in the body, particularly in the brain, kidney, liver, lung, and gastrointestinal tract.  The output of mercury can be intensified by the number of fillings and other activities, such as chewing, teeth-grinding, and the consumption of hot liquids.  Mercury is also known to be released during the placement, replacement, and removal of dental mercury amalgam fillings.

Dental Amalgam Danger: Human Health Risks Linked to Mercury Fillings

Dental mercury and its vapor have been scientifically linked to a number of health risks which demonstrate the danger of dental amalgam mercury fillings.  Individual response to mercury varies, and some of the factors known to potentially impact those exposed to mercury include their allergies, diet, gender, genetic predispositions to adverse reactions from mercury, the number of amalgam fillings in the mouth, and concurrent or previous exposures to other toxic chemicals such as lead (Pb).  Scientific studies have identified dental mercury as a potentially causational or exacerbating factor in the conditions included on this table:

Allergies, especially to mercuryAlzheimer's diseaseAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
Antiobiotic resistanceAutism spectrum disordersAutoimmune disorders/immunodeficiency
Cardiovascular problems
Chronic fatigue syndromeComplaints of unclear causation
Hearing lossKidney diseaseMicromercurialism
Multiple SclerosisOral lichenoid reaction and oral lichen planusParkinson's disease
Periodontal diseasePsychological issues such as depression and anxietyReproductive dysfunction
Suicidal ideationsSymptoms of chronic mercury poisoningThyroditis

Pregnant women and children are known to be susceptible populations to the danger of mercury from amalgam fillings, and researchers have also demonstrated danger to dentists and dental personnel who routinely work with dental amalgam mercury fillings.

Steps to Reduce Dental Amalgam Danger

Whereas “mercury-free” dentists no longer place amalgam fillings and use available alternatives, “mercury-safe” dentists apply special techniques to remove existing amalgam fillings.  In fact, the IAOMT has developed rigorous recommendations for removing existing dental mercury amalgam fillings to assist in mitigating the potential danger of mercury exposure to patients, dental professionals, dental students, office staff, and others.