Are there risks involved in getting a silver dental filling?

Jonathan B. Levine, DMD

There are risks in placing silver (amalgam) fillings, due to the potential health risks caused by mercury ingestion. Watch dental expert Jonathan Levine, DMD, explain these risks and provide precautions for the placement and removal of amalgams.

There are very minimal risks. While questions have arisen about the safety of dental amalgam relating to its mercury content, the major U.S. and international scientific and health bodies, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization, among others, have been satisfied that dental amalgam is a safe, reliable and effective restorative material.
The risks of getting a silver dental filling are minimal. Silver or amalgam dental fillings have been used for more than 150 years, so they have a long history of both safety and effectiveness. In rare cases, allergic reactions to silver dental fillings, resulting in oral lesions, swelling, or rashes have been reported. Clinical studies in adults and children who have silver fillings have found no links between silver dental fillings and any health problems. When mercury has been measured in people with silver fillings, the levels have been well below the amounts associated with adverse health effects. If you have any concerns about silver fillings, consult your dentist.

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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.