In this historic “Smoking Tooth” video, the IAOMT visually demonstrates how mercury vapor can be released from dental amalgam fillings.

Play Smoking Tooth - Mercury Vapor Video

Questioning Dental Amalgam Safety: Myth and Truth

Dental amalgam safety has been debated since the use of this dental material began over 150 years ago, and much of the debate has centered on the mercury in these fillings.  Differentiating between the myths and truth about this controversial dental material helps to demonstrate that mercury fillings are harmful to both people and the environment.

The kind of mercury in dental amalgam fillings is safe. Only methylmercury in fish is known to be harmful.=NOT TRUE, MYTH

Metallic mercury spill, Hg chemical

Mercury in dental amalgam fillings is constantly released, making it clear these fillings are not safe.

The truth is that the type of mercury used in amalgam fillings is elemental (metallic) mercury, which is the same type of mercury used in certain types of thermometers (many of which have been banned).  All forms of mercury are dangerous, and exposure to mercury, even in minute amounts, is known to be toxic and poses significant risks to human health.

A 2005 World Health Organization report warned of mercury: “It may cause harmful effects to the nervous, digestive, respiratory, immune systems and to the kidneys, besides causing lung damage. Adverse health effects from mercury exposure can be: tremors, impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, insomnia, emotional instability, developmental deficits during fetal development, and attention deficit and developmental delays during childhood. Recent studies suggest that mercury may have no threshold below which some adverse effects do not occur.”

Click here to read about the symptoms of mercury poisoning associated with elemental (metallic) mercury and dental amalgam mercury fillings.

…but “such and such organization or dentist” says that dental amalgam mercury fillings are safe.

It is essential to know that alleged dental amalgam safety is currently being successfully challenged with new science, and new actions are being taken against mercury by authorities around the globe.  In 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s global, legally-binding mercury treaty, the Minamata Convention on Mercury, entered into force as a means to protect people and the environment.  It includes initiatives to phase-down the use of dental amalgam.  Some individual countries have already banned dental mercury amalgam, and the European Union is considering a ban by 2030.  The U.S. EPA utilized measures in the Clean Water Act to develop standards for dental clinics to use amalgam separators so that dental mercury is not flushed down the drain and into the environment, and these standards went into effect in 2017.

Dental amalgam mercury and other forms of mercury are not safe for the environment, and countries who have banned dental mercury and other forms of mercury have only done so because of harm to the environment.=NOT TRUE, MYTH

The truth is that actions are being taken specifically to protect both people and the environment from the potential hazards of dental mercury.  As a matter of fact, the United Nations Environment Programme clearly states: “The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury” [emphasis added]. Likewise, countries taking action against dental amalgam mercury fillings have demonstrated concerns about its impact on patients by limiting its use for all people or for specific subpopulations, especially pregnant women and children.

The mercury in dental amalgam fillings is safe because it is completely bound to the material (trapped in the fillings) and is not released.=NOT TRUE, MYTH