Silver Fillings Background
Silver fillings, also known as dental amalgam fillings, are composed of mercury, silver, copper, tin, and sometimes zinc. All silver fillings contain approximately 45-55% mercury. Liquid mercury is used as a bonding component that fastens all the other alloy particles together into a durable filling. This composite material has been used for more than 150 years in order to fill cavities created by tooth decay. This practice is still commonly used in traditional dentistry throughout the United States among other countries around the world.
Are Silver Fillings Safe?
Mercury is a toxic poison that poses major health threats and environmental concerns. Scientific research has shown for years that the mercury component in silver fillings consistently leaks out low vapor levels which is mostly retained in the body. The amount of vapors actually intensifies whenever you chew, grind your teeth, or drink something warm. Mercury is also released during the filling process, replacement work, and removal of silver fillings. The FDA recognizes the benefits of silver fillings as durability and affordability, being the least expensive filling material, and claims limited to no health risks.
However, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology’s research and studies have concluded that the use of mercury in silver fillings poses serious risks to human health along with lasting damage to wildlife and our environment. There has been much controversy regarding evidential studies if silver fillings are a safe practice or not.
Even though American dental schools and the American Dental Association continues to claim no health or environmental risks, many other institutions have argued the contrary. The United Nations Environment Program has begun a global effort to reduce mercury usage, including in silver fillings, which some countries have already joined and banned dental mercury.