Dentists Split Over Amalgam Fillings (VIDEO)

Amalgam dental fillingsDentists are deeply divided over the issue of mercury in amalgam fillings. In this survey, 52% of dentists reported they are no longer using amalgam. The other 48% are still placing amalgam fillings.

Some dentists criticized amalgam for its possible toxicity and tendency to fracture teeth; other dentists defended amalgam’s long history and superiority to more modern composite fillings.

Read more: Dentists’ Thoughts on Amalgam Fillings


About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

  • David B

    I am surprised that as practice consultants, you are being politically correct and not revealing a position on amalgam. You should look at the evidence and come up with a position on the subject. On need not look very deeply to discover that amalgam is an inferior material, and is not effective and safe and innocuous. Just because dentists are using it, does not mean it is. It is a dirty little secret within the profession that amalgam causes catastrophic structural failures in teeth leading to a much higher incidence of root canals and crowns being placed on teeth. I have not used amalgam for over twenty years, and I rarely see broken and fractured teeth requiring root canals. I also do not need to place crowns on these teeth. I have 20 year old composites serving teeth quite well, and as opposed to amalgam these composite filled teeth are not undergoing continual pressures causing cracks, and not experiencing bacterial leakage leading to pulp infection as amalgam filled teeth do.
    The most ardent supporters of amalgam acknowledge that amalgams leach mercury into the body. Why is it that the only supposed safe place for amalgam is in the human mouth, and once it leaves the mouth it is considered toxic waste. The entire scientific establishment treats mercury in a far different way with much greater concerns, than the dental profession. You would do your clients and the profession at large a great service if you were logical, clear thinking and ethically centered by opposing the use of amalgam.
    I teach at an institute that opposes the use of amalgam, and what we find on survey after survey is that dentists use amalgam on their patients, but would not use it on their own family members…what does that say about the state of dentistry?
    I challenge you to commence that survey, you would confirm this on your own. The sad fact that a dentist would place an amalgam on an unsuspecting patient, but would not place the same material in his or her own children or family is the definition of malpractice in my humble opinion.
    Composites do not release estrogen as one of your comments stated, and for you to go on to say that both amalgam and composite have toxic potential is nonsense. Composites are safe and inert, and do not have toxic properties. Amalgam is irrefutably toxic. We desperately need leadership in our profession, and not group-think, sheep mentality. Please for God’s sake have some courage and conviction on the matter.
    Sincerely, SD Buck DDS

  • Julie Frey

    As dental consultants, we don’t think it’s our place to tell dentists which restorative materials to use. That is a clinical and scientific issue, and we’re neither scientists nor clinicians.

    We’ve got plenty of opinions when it comes to marketing and managing your practice. There may even be marketing ramifications from your stance on amalgam — we’ve got plenty to say about that.

    But which materials you should use? No dentist should be looking to a dental consultant for that answer!

  • As a dental website marketing provider, I’d say at least half my clients insist upon proclaiming on their websites that they are mercury free. A few have confided that after years of placing mercury amalgam fillings, they either became ill themselves, or a colleague convinced them they needed to stop.

    John Barremore
    Houston, TX

  • David B

    Julie,
    Your response to my post actually proves my point, namely that you are avoiding a most important ethical issue in the guise of being politically correct. I would respectfully say that your comment; ( on which restorative material to use)… “That is a clinical and scientific issue, and we’re neither scientists nor clinicians”, is a spurious position to say the least. You are no doubt a dental patient, and a dental consumer, in addition to being a dental practice consultant. That being the case, you are adequately qualified to comment on what would constitute optimal dental treatment, at least from a patient perspective. Any reasonably intelligent person can understand and appreciate that mercury ( amalgam is 50% mercury), is a known toxin and has no place in the human body. You don’t need to be a dentist to understand this.
    Would you want, or allow a mercury amalgam filling to be placed in your mouth, or your child’s mouth? If that is true, than just admit it and say you feel amalgam is perfectly fine and safe.
    I feel you should then advise your dental clients to promote and market that amalgam is safe and effective, and develop marketing strategies with your clients to promote amalgam fillings to the public. That is what you do right?
    I think you would agree that the majority of the public, given the option would vote against amalgam for obvious reasons. If that is in fact true, why then would you not advise your clients to promote to the public the alternative to amalgams and develop a marketing strategy that takes a stand against amalgam for all of the obvious reasons.
    I would humbly state you need to be on one side of this dilemma or the other, not equivocating as you both did in your video. It takes courage and integrity to stand up for something you believe in, especially in the face of adversity.
    SD Buck DDS

  • Actually abandoning mercury-based fillings is a marketing strategy for dentists. So is in-house treatment financing. I see both keyword terms in the website stats I monitor, especially derivatives of the latter.

    In general, and because of the Internet, people are vastly better informed today compared with 20-40 years ago. I remember 10 years back when I had my mercury removed, my dentist said it was a non-issue, not to bother. He refused to even look at the literature I brought with me at the time.

    While I have my own opinions regarding dental amalgam, fluoride, Bisphenol A and other materials, I remain neutral and unbiased representing dental practices. Whether good, bad, or ugly for people or the environment, each must decide what is best for them personally and professionally.

    John Barremore
    Houston, TX

  • Julie Frey

    Dr. Buck,

    We have run a number of dentist surveys on the topic of amalgam, and the results are always split right down the middle. If 48% of dentists think it’s a valid restorative material that belongs in the dentist’s arsenal, I do not consider myself qualified to tell them they’re wrong.

    John Barremore is absolutely right when he says, “each [dentist] must decide what is best for them personally and professionally.”

  • Dr Chuck Hughes

    As a Pediatric dentist, I had to ask myself, “Would I place a mercury filling in my child’s mouth?” The answer was, “No!” So 15 years ago, I completely quit using mercury fillings. If I would be arrested for placing a mercury filling in a landfill, why would I place it in a child or adult? Mercury is one if not the most toxic heavy metal on the planet. Is all the past fillings the reason for not admitting we were wrong. Are we still trying to justify the past so we can be right. Toxic is toxic! The answer seems simple!
    Dr. Chuck Hughes

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