Silver dental fillings, also know as amalgam fillings, contain mercury as part of their alloyed makeup. These fillings are ubiquitous in the general population and there has been some concern over the years that these fillings may release small amounts of trace mercury that may be neurotoxic to humans. Scientific evidence is clear that high levels of mercury is toxic to humans.. but how much and over how long has been debated due to the inability to prove cause and effect.


What about when the fillings are removed? Studies show that the removal of amalgam containing silver fillings has the potential to release high levels of mercury vapor. Is there way to prevent exposure to both the patient and dentist alike?

Photo of an amalgam dental filling which contains 50% elemental mercury

The Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART) is a simple, yet effective way to prevent exposure and may be used as a safe alternative to traditional techniques. The SMART technique involves the use of a rubber dam, face covering and PPE, high speed suction with copious amounts of water, a sectioning technique to remove the filling, and proper ventilation and filtration of air. In some cases, patient's can ingest a slurry of activated charcoal as well. 

Replacement choices of these fillings is tooth dependent and typically involves porcelain or composite. Your dentist can help you make the right choice.

Contact Champions for Oral Health to learn more and for for a free consultation at 703-591-5637 or

You can also learn more at International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology

Recently Written