Concerns over amalgam safety - Ottawa, ON

How safe is amalgam dentistry?

One of the questions that we get from patients is “How safe is amalgam?” To help clear some of these concerns, St. Laurent Dental Centre is providing Health Canada's Position Statement on Dental Amalgam.

Here are the main points from their statement:

While dental amalgam is a source of mercury exposure for patients, the current evidence fails to show it is the main cause of illnesses for Canadians. However, for a small percentage of individuals who are extremely sensitive to mercury, it can cause serious health complications. For these people, they should not be placed with amalgam fillings or restorations.

Completely banning amalgam doesn’t seem to be justified nor does removing amalgam fillings from patients who have shown no signs of negative health effects. But to be safe and stay healthy, it’s best to minimize your exposure to heavy metals.

Health Canada recommends that:
  • Non-mercury fillings should be used to treat the primary teeth of children when appropriate.

  • Patients who are pregnant should not have amalgam fillings placed or removed.

  • Patients with kidney impairment should not be placed with amalgam.

  • When placing or removing amalgam fillings, dentists should take the proper measures to reduce mercury exposure for themselves and for patients.

  • Dentists should recommend patients who are hypersensitive to mercury to avoid amalgam. For patients who have been treated with amalgam fillings but have become hypersensitive to it, their existing amalgam restoration should be removed and replaced with another appropriate material.

  • Dentists should avoid placing new amalgam fillings close to braces or other metal devices that may make contact.

  • Dentists should provide their patients with enough information so they can make an informed decision about the type of materials that will be put in their mouth. Dentists should also let their patients know that they have the right to refuse treatment if they feel uncomfortable with a dental material.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact our practice in Ottawa to speak with one of our staff.

Last Updated On 2020-07-04