Dental amalgams have been used to restore teeth for over 170 years.  A dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, tin, silver, copper and palladium.  The mercury is mixed with the other metals until it reacts and then is placed in the tooth.  Though elemental mercury itself is dangerous once it is reacted it no longer poses a threat.  This is just like with chlorine, which is the main component in bleach.  You wouldn’t drink bleach, but if you combine chloride with sodium, you get NaCl, which is normal table salt.

The bigger concern is of any mercury vapor that may be given off with temperature changes over time in your mouth.  Numerous studies have shown that the amount mercury vapor released is much too low to cause health effects.  The FDA reports that they are safe.  An independent study by the Life Sciences Research Office also concluded that “The current data are insufficient to support an association between mercury release from dental amalgam and the various complaints that have been attributed to this restoration material. These complaints are broad and nonspecific compared to the well-defined set of effects that have been documented for occupational and accidental elemental mercury exposures. Individuals with dental amalgam-attributed complaints had neither elevated urinary mercury nor increased prevalence of hypersensitivity to dental amalgam or mercury when compared with controls.”

If you have questions or concerns about this or any health recommendation be sure to ask questions.  It’s important to be informed and to make choices that are best for your health.

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