CHICAGO – A recent study published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety questions whether people with multiple dental amalgam fillings experience an increase in mercury levels in their blood. The American Dental Association has examined the study and its findings and reaffirms its position that dental amalgam is a durable, safe and effective cavity-filling option.
The mercury levels cited in the study did not exceed a level that according to the National Academy of Sciences would be known to cause adverse health effects. Thus, no conclusions about the safety of dental amalgam should be drawn from this study. In addition, the study used data that included two different types of dental materials: composite, which does not contain mercury and dental amalgam, made from a combination of metals including silver, copper, tin and mercury. It is important to note that since the study does not differentiate between the two filling materials, the study’s findings may be prone to over-interpretation.
Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively by US public health agencies, and has a long-established record of safety and effectiveness. To learn more, read the ADA’s statement on dental amalgam.
Patients should consult with their dentists to decide which filling material is best for them based on a number of factors, such as size and location of the cavity, patient history, cosmetic concerns and cost. The American Dental Association offers information about all dental filling materials at MouthHealthy.org.