Most people recognize dental amalgams as silver fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50 percent of the compound, is used to bind the metals together and to provide a strong, hard, durable filling. After years of research, mercury has been found to be the only element that will bind these metals together in such a way that can be easily manipulated into a tooth cavity.
Is the use of mercury in dental amalgams safe?
Mercury in dental amalgam is not poisonous. When mercury is combined with other materials in dental amalgam, its chemical nature changes, so it is essentially harmless. The amount of mercury released in the mouth under the pressure of chewing and grinding is extremely small and no cause for alarm. In fact, it is less than what patients are exposed to in food, air, and water.
For more information on the effects and use of mercury in silver fillings, click on the link below.