ADA Does Support Mercury-Safe Dentistry

The ADA actually supports Mercury-Safe Dentistry, it just uses a different name. The ADA calls it The ADA’s ‘Dental Mercury Hygiene Recommendations’. The ADA lists a number of sources of mercury exposure at the dental office, including polishing and removing amalgam. It also recommends that all personnel involved in the handling of mercury and dental amalgam be trained in the potential hazards of mercury vapor and the necessity of observing good mercury hygiene. Although limited in scope, the ADA does promote mercury safe dentistry. So while it still may vehemently defend the use of amalgam, it encourages dentists to be mercury-safe. Not only does the ADA encourage dentists to be mercury-safe, it also shows that the ADA does not believe that the elemental mercury used in amalgams is somehow safer than elemental mercury used in other products and equipment.

The ADA’s Dental Mercury Hygiene Recommendations were published in: J AM Dent Assoc, Vol 134, No.11, 1498-1499; © 2003, American Dental Association. You can access the article online at



  1. The title of this article is totally inaccurate.

    Mercury safe is protecting oneself, staff and patients from mercury vapor and particulate matter.

    The ADA does NOT mention in their document any of the levels one might encounter while performing about a dozen job functions that expose staff to mercury vapor levels higher than the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL). Nor do they tell dentists HOW to protect themselves from mercury vapor.

    ADA states “Periodically check the dental operatory atmosphere for mercury vapor”. Please, try checking a freshly opened amalgam capsule after trituration and it will blow out a mercury vapor analyzer at over 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter of air, a level 10x higher than OSHA’s PEL. These numbers also apply to placement, polishing and removal of amalgam.

    ADA does NOT mention that at every turn staff are being exposed to extremely high levels of mercury vapor and ADA does not give them the knowledge of how to truly protect themselves, because if they did, what patient in their right mind would believe the “amalgam is safe speech” when said by someone wearing a respirator mask.

    Bottom line: If the ADA supported mercury SAFE dentistry they would be telling their members HOW to protect themselves, staff and patients.

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