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ADA (Aust) Statements on Amalgams. (as at August 1998.  Readers are invited to visit the ADA page to see how the ADA deals with this issue today.

Click on each heading below to see ASOMAT's response.

What are amalgam fillings made of? Dental amalgam is an alloy of a number of metals, mainly silver, tin and mercury.

Is it true that mercury leaks out of fillings? Advances in testing equipment over the past few years have enabled us to detect very small amounts of mercury released from fillings, especially when fillings are polished or removed.

Is this mercury harmful? Medical research organisations including the American Food and Drug Administration, the Swedish Medical Research Council and our own National Health and Medical Research Council say that there is no scientific evidence that these tiny amounts of mercury released from dental fillings are a danger to health, apart from those rare cases where some individuals are unusually sensitive to this material. A number of overseas studies indicate there is no increased health risk of shortening of life between groups of people with amalgam fillings and those with none.

Is it true that mercury is in our diet? Yes. A normal balanced diet contains amount of mercury and we also come into contact with it in our environment and in a number of other products. Sources of mercury in the environment include industrial processes, batteries, deodorants, nasal sprays and even some vaccines such as flu vaccine.

Can you be allergic to the mercury in amalgam? This is extremely rare. Only 46 cases have been reported throughout the world since 1905. If you are worried, ask your doctor to refer you to a specialist for tests to check if you are allergic, If so, your dentist can use another type of filling for you. Alternatives exist but some can be rather expensive.

Is it true that Sweden has banned amalgam? The Swedish Medical Research Council has confirmed the safety of dental amalgam fillings. Sweden has not "banned" amalgam but, because of concerns about a number of chemicals, including mercury, in the environment from a number of sources - not just fillings, they have recommended the phasing out of amalgam over the next few years, provided suitable alternatives can be used.

Should I have my dental amalgam fillings removed? Unless you are one of those rare individuals who is particularly sensitive to dental amalgam, you will not improve your dental health by having these fillings replaced. Australia’s specialist doctors and Health authorities have warned the public that there is no justification for believing that this will cure a range of serious illnesses.

 

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