Mercury amalgam fillings

Mercury in teeth
Although the substance used for silver fillings, known as amalgam, has been in use for more than 100 years, the fillings are controversial because of claims that exposure to the vapour from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems ranging from joint pain to multiple sclerosis.

Silver dental fillings are only 30% silver and 50% mercury. Small amounts of mercury vapour are released all the time and increases with chewing or drinking hot foods and beverages. Mercury is also released by the natural process of corrosion and the ageing of the filling. The limited number of published scientific research experiments on amalgam biocompatibility have all strongly suggested that mercury and even the amalgam itself pose potential health problems of sufficient risk to warrant further extensive research.

In 1995 it was reported by researchers in Germany that the amount of mercury in the organs of babies (both born and unborn) correlates with the number of amalgam fillings their mothers have. Most babies in the study were not breast-fed so the researchers conclude that the mercury must have been absorbed via the placenta. Other German research suggests that amalgam fillings may affect fertility.

According to the American Dental Association, up to 76% of dentists use silver fillings containing mercury when filling a tooth.

1. The amount of mercury in one filling is enough to contaminate a 10-acre pond, making the fish that live in the pond over the mercury limit for human consumption.

2. A removed filling has to be disposed of it properly, through a licensed facility that handles mercury waste. This is the very material that just came out of a person's mouth.

3. There are numerous options to silver fillings, including tooth-colored resin, porcelain, and gold fillings -- all of which are considerably more expensive.

1. The CDC, the World Health Organization and other support the use of silver fillings as safe, durable, and cost-effective. Studies have failed to find any link between silver fillings containing mercury and any medical disorder.

2. There is no health reason not to use silver fillings, unless a patient has an allergy to a component in the amalgam. Fewer than 100 incidents of such allergy have ever been reported. (American Dental Association).

3. Once the filling is placed in the tooth, a person's exposure to mercury vapours is minimal.

4. Some dentists say colleagues who encourage patients to have silver fillings removed and replaced with the more expensive fillings are just making money off the controversy.

Aggravated by 
(D) Detailed problems