Although the American Dental Association still calls amalgam “safe,” most amalgams contain more than 50% mercury, which is a known neurotoxin. With the advances in dental materials, there is really no reason other than cost to place a mercury containing filling in someone’s tooth. In fact, I have not placed an amalgam filling since 1997. What is not widely discussed is that removing an old amalgam filling can release more mercury than simply leaving it in place. At our practice we follow the guidelines published by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, including cut and chunk technique, copious water irrigation, double suction technique, and if the patient desires Chorella rinses. While it isn’t possible to completely eliminate exposure to mercury, we do our best to minimize that exposure.

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