Dental fillings have been helping patients save their teeth from rotting away for more than 150 years. One common type of dental filling is silver filling, which uses the material dental amalgam that consists of copper, tin, silver, and mercury. A dental amalgam can have around 50 % mercury. While silver fillings have been used prevalently, because they are affordable and durable and deemed safe, there have been claims since the 1970s that the mercury content of silver fillings makes people sick.

mercury fillings in mouth

Note: The views expressed in this article are the opinion of Urgent Dental but you should make you own mind up on the practice of using mercury in fillings. Urgent Dental is a pro IABDM dental clinic.

Is Mercury in Amalgam Toxic?

Is mercury in dental fillings harmful? Dr. Robert Baratz, who heads the National Council Against Health Fraud, would argue that mercury is rendered harmless when combined in the form of dental amalgam. According to Dr. Baratz, mercury or other metals that have been properly combined to achieve the proper durability and hardness required to create dental amalgam are essentially biologically inert, stable, and safe. Dr. Baratz further explains that water has hydrogen that is a highly volatile gas as well as oxygen that can easily support the combustion of hydrogen, but no one has ever seen water bursting into flames.

Hal A. Huggins, probably the most influential opponent of mercury amalgams, would claim that mercury toxicity due to the absorption of mercury in dental fillings is real, and would present cases of people who suffered from illnesses because of mercury amalgam. He believes that amalgam fillings are responsible for modern diseases such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, depression, cardiovascular diseases, depression, epilepsy, digestive disorders, Hodgkin’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic fatigue. Huggins runs a clinic that offers the complex treatment regimen known as the Huggin’s Protocol, which involves removing mercury fillings that are deemed toxic. The clinic has a team of dentists and therapists, which include acupressurists, intravenous sedation personnel, nutritionists, and detoxification doctors.

Alleged Symptoms of Mercury Toxicity

Opponents of mercury amalgam believes that chronic mercury intoxication is a multisymptomatic illness. It is believed that the toxicity causes a number of symptoms, which include irritability, anxiety, outbursts of temper, loss of self-confidence, stress intolerance, timidity, indecisions, memory loss, depression, headache, unsteady gait, insomnia, muscular weakness, edema, drowsiness, etc.

Perhaps partly because many people have claimed to have fallen sick because of absorption of mercury from mercury amalgams, many studies have focused on the safety and stability of mercury in fillings. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a report in March 2002 that concluded with the statement: “no valid scientific evidence has ever shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in the rare case of allergy.” The U.S. Public Health Service concluded that there is not enough evidence to support the claim that removing mercury amalgams or avoiding them will be beneficial to one’s health. However, in spite of these studies, there are dentists and dental professional who refuse to use whatever filling that has mercury in it.