Dental Amalgam and Mercury in Dentistry

Mercury in dentistry has re-emerged as a contentious issue in public health, predominantly because so many people are inadvertently exposed to mercury in order to obtain the benefits of dental amalgam fillings, and the risks remain difficult to interpret. Evidence on the health effect of dental amalgams comes from studies of the association between their presence and signs or symptoms of adverse effects or health changes after removal of dental amalgam fillings. Policy will also reflect prudent and cautious approaches, encouraging minimization of exposure to mercury in potentially more sensitive population groups. Wider environmental concerns and decreasing tolerance of exposure to other mercury compounds (for example, methylmercury in seafoods) will ensure the use of mercury in dentistry remains an issue, necessitating dentists keep their patients informed of health risks and respect their choices.

Spencer AJ. Aust Dent J. 2000 Dec;45(4):224-34. 11225523 PubMed.


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