Dental Amalgam: What Others Say
Updated: April 2016
"According to the best available scientific evidence, there is no relationship between silver dental fillings and Alzheimer's. … Public health agencies, including the FDA, the U.S. Public Health Service and the World Health Organization, endorse the continued use of amalgam as safe, strong, inexpensive material for dental restorations."
Source: Alzheimer's Association website. Alzheimer's Myths. Accessed April 5, 2016.
International Journal of Dentistry
"According to the available articles and data reviewed in this paper, the following conclusions can be drawn: 1) Mercury released from dental amalgam restorations does not contribute to systemic disease or systemic toxicological effects, 2) Allergic reactions to mercury from dental amalgam restorations have been demonstrated, but these are extremely rare, and 3) Available scientific data do not justify the discontinuation of dental amalgam use from clinical practice or the replacement with other single-tooth restorative dental materials."
Source: Uçar Y, Brantley WA. Section 5. Conclusions: Biocompatibility of Dental Amalgams. Int J Dent 2011;2011:981595. doi:10.1155/2011/981595. Accessed April 5, 2016.
Lupus Foundation of America
"At the present time, there are no scientific data that indicates that dental fillings may act as a trigger of lupus."
Source: Lupus Foundation of America website. Understanding Lupus: Are dental fillings related to lupus? Accessed April 5, 2016.
"Amalgam fillings are safe. A great deal of research has examined these fillings and found them to be an effective, long-lasting treatment for dental decay.
Amalgam, or silver, fillings are made with mercury, silver, tin and copper. In some cases, other metals may be included in amalgam fillings, too. Amalgam has been used for many years to replace decayed areas within teeth. It's an excellent material for this purpose. Amalgam is a strong, stable substance that holds up well when placed in a moist environment. It's also a good choice because it can tolerate the dramatic changes in temperature within your mouth."
Source: Bishop S. Amalgam is a safe and durable choice for fillings. Mayo Clinic News Network, January 25, 2013. Accessed April 5, 2016.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
"There is no scientific evidence to connect the development of MS with mercury-based dental fillings. Poisoning with heavy metals-such as mercury, lead, or manganese can damage the nervous system and produce symptoms such as tremor and weakness, similar to those seen in MS. However, the underlying mechanism of the nerve damage is completely different from MS."
Source: National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Foster V. Staying Well: Clear thinking about alternative therapies. 2011 p 14 (PDF) Accessed April 5, 2016.
"There have been claims over the years that mercury leaking from amalgam dental fillings damages the immune system and causes a broad range of diseases, including MS. While the cause of MS remains unknown, there is no scientific evidence that heavy metal poisoning is responsible for either the onset or worsening of MS. There is no reason to have your dental fillings removed or replaced. This is a very expensive procedure with no proven benefit for people with MS."
Source: National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Dental Health: The basic facts. 2014 p 3 (PDF) Accessed April 5, 2016.
National Council Against Health Fraud
"The National Council Against Health Fraud believes that amalgam fillings are safe ... Recommendations to consumers: There is no logical reason to worry about the safety of amalgam fillings."
Source: National Council Against Health Fraud website. NCAHF Position Paper on Amalgam Fillings 2002 Accessed April 5, 2016.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR – one of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services)
“[Two] studies—one conducted in Europe, the other in the United States—independently reached the conclusion: children whose cavities were filled with dental amalgam had no adverse health effects. The findings included no detectable loss of intelligence, memory, coordination, concentration, nerve conduction or kidney function during the 5-7 years the children were followed.”
Source: NIDCR Communications office. April 18, 2006—Studies Evaluate Health Effects of Dental Amalgam Fillings in Children. Accessed April 5, 2016.
The New England Journal of Medicine
"Current concern arises from claims that long-term exposure to low concentrations of mercury vapor from amalgams either causes or exacerbates degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease. Speculation has been most intense with respect to Alzheimer's disease after a report that the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease had elevated mercury concentrations. However, several epidemiological investigations failed to provide evidence of a role of amalgam in these degenerative diseases ...
Patients who have questions about the potential relation between mercury and degenerative diseases can be assured that the available evidence shows no connection. … There is no clear evidence supporting the removal of amalgams."
Source: Clarkson TW, Magos L, Myers GJ. Current Concepts: the toxicology of mercury—Current exposures and clinical manifestations. New Engl J Med 349(18); October 30, 2003, pp.1731-7. Accessed April 5, 2016.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
"FDA has reviewed the best available scientific evidence to determine whether the low levels of mercury vapor associated with dental amalgam fillings are a cause for concern. Based on this evidence, FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above. The weight of credible scientific evidence reviewed by FDA does not establish an association between dental amalgam use and adverse health effects in the general population. Clinical studies in adults and children ages 6 and above have found no link between dental amalgam fillings and health problems.
The developing neurological systems in fetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor. Very limited to no clinical data is available regarding long-term health outcomes in pregnant women and their developing fetuses, and children under the age of six, including infants who are breastfed. Pregnant women and parents with children under six who are concerned about the absence of clinical data as to long-term health outcomes should talk to their dentist.
However, the estimated amount of mercury in breast milk attributable to dental amalgam is low and falls well below general levels for oral intake that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe. Despite the limited clinical information, FDA concludes that the existing risk information supports a finding that infants are not at risk for adverse health effects from the mercury in breast milk of women exposed to mercury vapor from dental amalgam. Some individuals have an allergy or sensitivity to mercury or the other components of dental amalgam (such as silver, copper, or tin). Dental amalgam might cause these individuals to develop oral lesions or other contact reactions. If you are allergic to any of the metals in dental amalgam, you should not get amalgam fillings. You can discuss other treatment options with your dentist."
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration website. About dental amalgam fillings.
Accessed April 6, 2016.
"The cause of autism, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis remains unknown. Additionally, there is no solid, scientific evidence to back up the claim that if a person has amalgam fillings removed, he or she will be cured of these or any other diseases."
Source: WebMD. Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Health. Accessed April 6, 2016.