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There's mercury in silver fillings.

The dangers of mercury in silver fillings

June 18, 2024
Despite its dangers, it's still common to see mercury in silver fillings. The bottom line, in this hygienist's opinion, is that there's no safe level of mercury for the body.

As a member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology  (IAOMT), I've learned just how dangerous the seemingly innocuous silver (mercury) fillings can be to our bodies. They can do great damage to the body and overall health. 

The idea of mixing mercury with silver arrived the US in 1833.  By 1850, it was banned for use by the American Society of Dental Surgeons, but a promercury group founded the American Dental Association (ADA)  in 1859. The ADA won this argument and it's still supporting the use of mercury fillings today. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mercury is one of the top 10 chemicals that's a major health concern. Even thought it’s a "natural" element found within the earth’s crust, mercury is a neurotoxin, a poison that we knowingly place in our bodies! It can affect the nerves, digestive and immune systems, the lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes. 

A mercury filling has more than a half gram of mercury and emits an average of 13 micrograms of vapor per day. They're called silver fillings to hide the fact they are actually almost 50% mercury. We also call them amalgams because they're a mix, an amalgamation, of different metals.

My conclusion? I don't think there's any safe level of mercury, and we should not be placing it in our bodies.

Read my entire blog, Silver Linings

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About the Author

Barbara Tritz, MSB, BSDATE, BRDH

Barbara Tritz, MSB, BSDATE, BRDH, is a practicing biological dental hygienist at Green City Dental in Edmonds, Washington. She is the owner of Washington Oral Wellness in Kirkland, Washington, where she practices orofacial myofunctional therapy. She completed her accreditation in biological dental hygiene through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and is laser certified through the Academy of Laser Dentistry. In 2019 Barbara received the HuFriedy-American Dental Hygienist Association Master Clinician Award. Barbara can be contacted at [email protected].