Advertisement

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.

Continue Learning about Dental Fillings

When should I consider having my amalgam fillings removed?
Gerald P. Curatola, DDSGerald P. Curatola, DDS
People with the following conditions may want to speak to their dentist about having their amalgam f...
More Answers
What are the disadvantages of amalgam tooth fillings?
Gerald P. Curatola, DDSGerald P. Curatola, DDS
Besides the obvious aesthetic disadvantages of silver metal in teeth, and the controversial content ...
More Answers
How is a dental inlay or onlay fitted?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
During the first visit, the dentist prepares the tooth by removing the old filling or decay. The...
More Answers
What is enameloplasty?
Jonathan B. Levine, DMDJonathan B. Levine, DMD
Sometimes a tooth simply needs to be shortened or slightly reshaped to bring it back into proportion...
More Answers

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.