What Is the Risk? Dental Amalgam, Mercury Exposure, and Human Health Risks Throughout the Life Span

Abstract

All dental amalgam fillings contain approximately 50 % elemental mercury by weight. Concerns about health risks due to continual emissions of mercury vapor from this tooth restorative material have been addressed by dentists, scientists, and government authorities worldwide and have resulted in a range of recommended practices and regulations. By reviewing articles collected by a literature search of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) database and the PubMed database, we identify health risks associated with dental mercury amalgam. We present the science of potential harm as applicable to the general population, pregnant women, fetuses, children, and dental professionals. We specifically address genetic predispositions, mercury allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other health conditions pertinent to dental mercury exposure. We conclude that reviews and studies of dental amalgam mercury risk should assess biocompatibility with special consideration for all populations and all risk factors.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Academy of Oral Medicine and ToxicologyChampionsGateUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular PharmacologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  3. 3.Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human DevelopmentNashvilleUSA

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