For over a hundred and fifty years, dental amalgam fillings have been the go-to material for dental restorations. Owing much of its popularity for its durability and low cost, the continued use of dental amalgam in modern dentistry have been called into question primarily because of its mercury component.
As a neurotoxin, mercury is a heavy metal that at certain doses can cause adverse effects on the nervous and respiratory systems. According to the researchers, Assistant Professor Xiaozhong John Yu and Scientist Lei Yin, "As toxicologists, we know that mercury is poison, but it all depends on the dose. So, if you have one dental filling, maybe it's OK. But if you have more than eight dental filings, the potential risk for adverse effect is higher."
Total Body Dentistry has long been familiar with the correlation between the presence of dental amalgam fillings and mercury levels in the body. However, we also maintain that regardless that if whether a patient has a single mercury filling or more - it chronically exposes the patient to mercury as the fillings can leak and emit vapors during brushing, dental cleaning, and even chewing.
Further, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) in the US advised that there has been confusion in the media regarding the term surface restorations. In a news release, IAOMT stated, "That each tooth has five surfaces, which means that a person with only two fillings could have up to ten surface restorations." The group further stated that it "(C)ontacted one of the researchers of the study, who confirmed that the research was measuring mercury-filled surfaces."
As dental healthcare professionals, we believe in valuing patient welfare and as such, we support the call for dental amalgam fillings to be phased-out of the profession and that a patient's right to informed choice must always be respected.