Several literature reviews and recent studies have investigated the health effects of dental amalgam.
FDA Literature Review9,10
The FDA published a White Paper in two parts. The first draft, submitted in 2006, reviewed literature published between 1997 and 2006 to identify contributions made to the understanding of human health risks posed by exposure to mercury in dental amalgam. The Addendum to that report reviewed the research published between 2006 and 2009. The 2006 draft White Paper and 2009 Addendum constitute FDA's final White Paper, which concludes “that there is insufficient evidence to support an association between exposure to mercury from dental amalgams and adverse health effects in humans, including sensitive subpopulations.”
Life Sciences Research Office (LSRO)
The Life Sciences Research Office is a nonprofit organization of scientists, who contract with outside agencies to analyze issues that arise in biomedicine, healthcare, nutrition, food safety and the environment. In 2004, the LSRO completed a review of the literature published from 1996 to December 2003 on potential adverse human health effects caused by dental amalgam.
The resulting report11 states 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.”
In 2015, the ADA completed a literature review12 of articles published between 2010 and 2014. This update focused on research gaps identified in the original (2004) LSRO project. The authors reviewed the abstracts of 133 articles to identify all studies relevant to amalgam and biochemical, behavioral and/or toxicological effects. They summarized the findings of 19 applicable articles.