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A burning issue lately has been about whether or not to continue using the old silver, or amalgam fillings in modern dentistry. A lot of people are worried that the old fillings are making them sick and want to remove and replace them with the resin based white fillings. Dentists are working hard to determine if this is something that needs to be done.

In fact, almost 3/4 of people questioned in the United States are not aware that the old silver fillings contain mercury.

The fact that mercury is a strong toxin and if enough is present in one's body, it can cause diseases that affect your immune system, your nervous system and even be the cause of certain mental disorders. The true question is, what is the amount of mercury the body can tolerate without causing disease?

Silver fillings are not made completely of mercury. In fact, less than half of the content is mercury. The other half is a combination of other minerals, such as tin and copper. If we continue to use the old silver fillings, OSHA says that we could be at levels that are unhealthy to our bodies. You can help change this however. The WHO (World Health Organization) advises that a change in lifestyle can help lower your risk of disease due to amalgam fillings.

In addition to the problems with mercury vapor coming off of silver fillings in our mouth, there is the issue of water contamination from removing the silver fillings and the ensuing environmental impact as the mercury finds its way into the water supply.

The WHO (World Health Organization) reports that mercury from amalgam and laboratory devices accounts for 53% of total mercury emissions into our environment. In addition to the above mentioned agency statements, the EPA would like dentists who DO remove old fillings separate and not release them into the public waste water system. These are all suggestions, and as of right now, there is no legislation making any of this mandatory for dentists. If we were to find out exactly how dangerous this mercury is, and at what level, then we should think about contacting our representatives and congressmen to try and come up with a standardized plan to fix this problem.

The United States is behind in taking the initiative to ban the use of mercury fillings. For example, since 2007, certain Scandinavian countries have outlawed the use of silver fillings for reasons of public health issues.

Unfortunately, our country and Sweden have different answers to this perplexing situation. The Swedes have begun testing a number of people who already have some of these diseases, such as Epstein-Barr, etc. and had them have their amalgams removed. Only 22% did NOT see any improvement, which would suggest that the majority who had the amalgam removed are getting better. The United States has launched a study with the FDA and the NIH and they say currently, there is not enough data to positively say there is a correlation between mercury in your body and disease. This leads us to make a personal decision based on the data available.

Are Silver (Amalgam) Fillings Dangerous Left In Your Mouth?