You may have heard that the mercury in dental fillings is of concern as a possible cause of cancer. But, the next time you find yourself in the dentist chair, you can rest assured that scientific evidence points otherwise.
What are dental fillings made of?
Dental Amalgams (silver fillings) are composed of elemental mercury and an alloy powder consisting of tin, copper, silver and other trace metals. There are records of amalgams being used as early as the late 600's, and, in the last 150 years, amalgam has proven to be a long-lasting and stable dental restorative material.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is no evidence of correlation between dental amalgam and cancer. Further, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says, "The clinical studies that have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals found no link between mercury-containing fillings and the development of cancer and other diseases. The amount of mercury absorbed by the body from amalgams is so small it is considered harmless."
There continues to be no scientific evidence that proves dental amalgams are unsafe. The decision for the proper dental restorative material will vary from case to case, and remains a decision between the patient and their dentist.
- Dental Amalgam: Update on Safety Concerns from the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs
- Article from the ACS on Biological Dentistry, or the "removal of dental fillings or teeth claimed to contain toxins, which are said to cause systemic diseases or pain"