mcpheecult asked in HealthDental · 1 decade ago

Does standard dental amalgamn still contain mercury, is it harmfull?

I just had a discussion about this and I think that filling have mercury in them and may be harmfull .What do others think?

5 Answers

  • Dan S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Mercury in fillings is a problem being departed in the Medical and Dental communities. We know that Mercury is toxic, even in small amounts, but the dental community consider the alloy used to fill teeth as being stable and not a large concern. There just hasn't been enough study on the problem to make a decision yet.

    The mercury in fillings is not bound in the Amalgam alloy so if it escapes it could be a problem, but this is still being debated and has so since the invention of the current amalgam in 1840. The problem is that for scientists to be sure of the harmful effects they need to expose a human to large scale, long-term exposure to increased levels to determine the proper toxicity. This is considered unethical because it will certainly make some people sick and it could kill others.

    In 1840 the American Society of Dental Surgeons was formed and they made their members sign a pledge to not use mercury, but due to a decline in membership it was disbanded in 1856. The American Dental Association was founded in 1859 and is still active today. It never had any rules forbidding the use of mercury. Until 1984 the ADA claimed that mercury vapor was not released, but in the 1970s they were proven wrong. Now days few dentits argue that mercury vapor is not released, but they claim it is in such small amounts that it doesn’t matter. Of course mercury vapor is constantly be released by these fillings and the culumative exposre is the problem, but then the filling has a minute amount of mercery and the exposure is very small over a very long time. You can argue both sides of this. Until then it is best if you use the more expensive option of having your teeth capped.

    According to Wikipedia:

    “The ADA maintained until 1984 that mercury was bound in amalgam and did not release mercury vapor. In the 1970s studies demonstrated that a small amount of mercury vapor was constantly being released from amalgam, corroborating the first such study published in 1882 in the Ohio State Journal of Dental Science by Dr. Eugene S. Talbot..

    The majority of dentists maintain that dental amalgams are not only safe for use but desirable, since they are cheap, easy to use, fairly durable and strong, can be quickly inserted into the oral cavity and that any release of mercury vapor is negligible. Opponents, however, argue that repetitive exposure to a very small amount of mercury can be cumulative, so amalgams can cause health problems.

    Those in favor of amalgam fillings (the majority view in the USA and elsewhere) indicate that significant measurable adverse health effects from them have not been proven conclusively. Those against amalgam fillings (the minority view in the USA) indicate that their safety has not been proven conclusively. Because both of these statements are objectively true, the controversy continues without resolution to date.”

    According to Wikipedia:

    “The Dental amalgam controversy is a debate over the use of amalgams, which contain mercury, as a dental filling. A minority of dentists has always been opposed to the use of amalgam in dental fillings, since they first began to be used 150 years ago.

    The essence of the problem is that it is intrinsically difficult scientifically to demonstrate either conclusive safety or conclusive harm without very large-scale long-term epidemiological studies of the type that have not so far been performed, and might in any case be impossible due to ethical considerations.”

    According to Wikipedia:

    "Amalgam fillings are a mixture of mercury (from 43% to 54%) and powdered alloy made mostly of silver, tin, zinc and copper commonly called the amalgam alloy.[1], Due to the known toxicity of mercury, the main component of amalgam fillings, there is ongoing discussion on the use of this filling material. Recent study in JAMA cites increased levels of mercury blood levels in children with mercury fillings."

    I suggest that you read this article ( and check out the sources at the end of the article for more information.

    The Consumers for Dental Choice website is:

    According to Wikipedia:

    "Pure elemental mercury is a cumulative heavy-metal poison that is moderately absorbed through the skin, rather poorly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, and readily absorbed as vapor through the lungs. The element is strongly toxic when absorbed as vapor from the respiratory tract, but it is considerably less so when exposure occurs via other routes. Elemental mercury often passes through the GI tract without being absorbed, and historically mercury has occasionally been used for mechanical relief of intestinal obstructions (today the known toxicity of mercury has put an end to this practice).

    Compounds of mercury tend to be much more toxic than the element itself, and organic compounds of mercury are often extremely toxic. Dimethylmercury, for example, is a potent neurotoxin that is lethal in amounts of a fraction of a millilitre.

    Mercury damages the central nervous system, endocrine system, kidneys, and other organs, and adversely affects the mouth, gums, and teeth. Exposure over long periods of time or heavy exposure to mercury vapor can result in brain damage and ultimately death. Mercury and its compounds are particularly toxic to fetuses and infants. Women who have been exposed to mercury in pregnancy have sometimes given birth to children with serious birth defects (see Minamata disease).

    Some of the toxic effects of mercury are reversible, either through specific therapy or through natural elimination of the metal after exposure has been discontinued. However, heavy or prolonged exposure can do irreversible damage, particularly in fetuses, infants, and young children. Exposure to certainly highly toxic compounds of mercury such as dimethylmercury can be fatal within hours or less.

    Mercury exposure in very young children can have severe neurological consequences, preventing nerve sheaths from forming properly. Research has been done that demonstrates the inhibitory effect that mercury has on myelin, the building block protein that forms these sheaths.[1]

    Mercury poisoning in the young is suspected as a possible cause of autistic behaviors, however there is a lack of quality peer-reviewed work on this matter and the claim of autism as mercury poisoning is considered suspect by mainstream medicine.

    Humans or animals poisoned with mercury or its compounds often manifest excessive salivation, a condition called mercurial ptyalism.

    In recent years, some concern has arisen about the potential toxicity of mercury amalgam in dental restorative procedures (i.e., in tooth fillings). While it has been demonstrated that small amounts of mercury are released from fillings over time, it has not been conclusively proven that these releases are harmful (or harmless). The potential toxicity of amalgam is still a matter of considerable debate."

    According to Wikipedia:

    The standard treatment for heavy metal therapy is called Chelation therapy where Chelationish compounds ( are used to pull the heavy metal (like mercury) out of the body. This treatment dates from the 1920s.

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  • 1 decade ago

    apparently yes to the first question and no to the second. The mercury is rendered stable and unreactive by bonding with other metals.

    P.S. I've heard that mercury vapours are much more harmful than liquid mercury, so don't freak out if you break a mercury thermometer: just clean up the mess!

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  • 1 decade ago





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  • 3 years ago

    They contain mercury and it is anybodies wager what the mercury vapor does to the human body. once you've the money get gold fillings. They very last a lengthy time period. i have had mine for 13 years.

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  • Dashes
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    if your filling is white, it doesnt. if it is metalic, it probably does. it does not contain nearly harmfull ammounts of mercury. I have 4

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