International Health Group Raising Awareness of Dental Mercury

by Amanda Just and John Kall

Many consumers are not aware that all silver-colored fillings, also referred to as dental amalgams, contain approximately 50 percent mercury. Although other countries have banned and/or restricted the use of dental mercury, these fillings are still being used in the United States.

The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) is warning consumers that the mercury in dental amalgam fillings poses risks to human health and that dental mercury released into the environment can cause long-lasting damage to wildlife. The IAOMT is a global network of dentists, health professionals and scientists who have been researching dental amalgam and other dental products since 1984. The group recently released new articles on their website about dental mercury which include references to scientific studies about this topic.

The IAOMT is now also warning consumers about unsafe amalgam removal. Some patients require the removal of amalgam fillings due to device failure, while others opt for removal for cosmetic purposes (white-colored fillings match the teeth better) or because they prefer to have dental fillings that do not contain mercury. However, removal of amalgam fillings without safety measures can potentially result in patients, dentists, dental staff and the environment all be being exposed to unsafe levels of mercury. The IAOMT has developed a set of recommendations known as the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART) to mitigate this mercury exposure (TheSmartChoice.com).

For more information, visit the IAOMT dental mercury webpages at Tinyurl.com/y7rfawvd; or see the IAOMT Position Paper against dental amalgam mercury with over 900 citations at Tinyurl.com/ybbhkrrm.