How many dentists use fillings containing mercury?

Since the Civil War, mercury-containing fillings (often called “silver” or “amalgam”) continue to be used extensively to fill dental cavities. While the use of mercury-free fillings, such as tooth-colored composite resins and ceramics, is becoming more prevalent and better performing, approximately 46% of dentists in the United States still use mercury-containing dental amalgam. Unfortunately, many dentists continue to place mercury-containing fillings, calling them amalgams or “silver fillings,” with many patients remaining uninformed of its mercury content.

Mercury use in health, consumer, and industrial products has declined precipitously in all products over the past 30 years, but in dentistry, this decline has only been slight, such that dental fillings jumped from 2% of all mercury products two decades ago to over 20% in 2001.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.