has been used in dental "silver" fillings for over 160 years, its use has always been filled with controversy. There has never been a dental filling material so long used and so long opposed. Even when it was introduced to the United States in 1834, physicians called mercury's use in tooth repair malpractice. Yet, this obsolete, unhealthy and ugly filling, the mercury amalgam, is still with us.
Mercury is dangerous, more poisonous than lead or arsenic. Dental "silver" amalgams are composed of mostly mercury. They release mercury vapor into the body 24 hours a day. And, although more than a dozen new filling materials have been shown to be superior to silver-mercury amalgam, it is still the most often used material in dentistry.