What is the risk? Dental amalgam, mercury exposure, and human health risks throughout the life span

John Kall, Amanda Just, Michael Aschner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


All dental amalgam fillings contain approximately 50 % elemental mercury by weight. Concerns about health risks due to continual emissions of mercury vapor from this tooth restorative material have been addressed by dentists, scientists, and government authorities worldwide and have resulted in a range of recommended practices and regulations. By reviewing articles collected by a literature search of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) database and the PubMed database, we identify health risks associated with dental mercury amalgam. We present the science of potential harm as applicable to the general population, pregnant women, fetuses, children, and dental professionals. We specifically address genetic predispositions, mercury allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and other health conditions pertinent to dental mercury exposure. We conclude that reviews and studies of dental amalgam mercury risk should assess biocompatibility with special consideration for all populations and all risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEpigenetics, the Environment, and Children's Health Across Lifespans
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages48
ISBN (Electronic)9783319253251
ISBN (Print)9783319253237
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • General Medicine
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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