Is the mercury, which is absorbed into the body harmful?
For the overwhelming majority of people no harmful effects are known to be caused by the average levels of mercury exposure from amalgam fillings. For those subject to high exposures, for example, in industrial settings, the severity of any scientifically validated harmful effects depends upon the duration and amount of exposure.
Subclinical effects (effects which are observable but are below the threshold of disease or illness) have been observed in groups of people with tissue mercury levels ten times higher that those in the general population. However, at the low levels of exposure associated with amalgam fillings, the relationship between levels and duration of exposure and any possible effects is not known. Scientific observation of patients over the course of 150 years of using ever-improving formulations of dental amalgam is the foundation of CDA’s confidence in this material for general use.
It is the most durable and most affordable of all restorative material options. The Canadian Dental Association has been urging the government of Canada to support further research to achieve definitive scientific answers, which can better assure Canadians of the safety of amalgam as well as all other alternative restorative materials.