Mercury fillings are still used in the United States. Until recently, most patients did not realize that amalgams contained between 50 and 54% mercury. Mercury is the most toxic, non-reactive element on earth. At room temperature it is in the form of a liquid and easily turns from a liquid, into a gas. Although amalgam is very hard, the mercury is still liquid within the filling, and is released into the oral environment as a gas.
In 1997, in a draft report to Congress, the United States Environmental Protection Agency said, “the EPA recommends a 150 pound adult should consume no more than 7 micrograms of mercury daily, a 30 pound child no more than 1.4 micrograms, and a 15 pound child no more than 0.7 micrograms.”
In 1995, Drs. Lorscheider, Vimy, and Sommers reviewed all the scientifically peer reviewed literature, pertaining to mercury released from amalgam fillings. Their findings were published in the Federation of Applied Science and Experimental Biology journal. They found the average mercury released from silver fillings was 10 micrograms.
Is the mercury from your fillings causing health problems? There is no way to answer that question definitively. We know that mercury is coming out of the fillings in fairly large amounts. We also know that a person absorbs 80% of the mercury released. Some people seem to tolerate mercury better than others. I have elderly patients in my practice with many amalgams who have never been sick a day in their life. In contrast, I also had a 22 year old man with 4 small amalgams, who had digestive problems and vomited every morning after brushing his teeth. With the removal of his amalgams, both symptoms disappeared.
I started offering alternatives to amalgam fillings in 1983 and became totally mercury- free in 1985 as a result of scientifically peer-reviewed data. For more information see www.testfoundation.org and www.iaomt.org
For the other side of the story, contact the American Dental Association www.ada.org and/or your local dental society. These organizations firmly believe that amalgam fillings are safe. I encourage you to check out both sides so you can make an informed decision.