Our patients often ask us why we do not use silver amalgam fillings anymore. This is of special concern regarding insurance companies that downgrade the benefits for tooth-colored (composite) fillings to the benefit for less expensive silver amalgam fillings.
Recently there has been a lot of talk in the media about dental fillings that contain mercury. According to The Medical News, “A new report by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology this month to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that mercury levels from dental fillings is established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency…Dental fillings referred to by dentists as ‘amalgam’ or ’silver’ are actually 50% mercury. Contrary to the FDA’s ruling that exposure from mercury fillings present no health risks, the latest assessment by lead author, G. Mark Richardson, Ph.D., of SNC-Lavalin, concludes that mercury vapor continually emitted from these fillings is absorbed into every tissue and organ in the body, including the brain. Chronic (long term) exposure to elemental mercury can cause kidney damage…and is neurotoxic…In the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it confirmed that mercury is likely a contributing cause of Alzheimer’s. The use of mercury in dentistry has already been banned in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.”*
The FDA currently states that mercury in fillings is safe. An advisory panel will meet to re-examine the basis of the investigation.
*Source: International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology