Why Are Toxic Mercury Fillings Still Being Used?


by Dr. Matthew Carpenter

For decades, dentists have placed “silver” fillings to repair cavities and halt decay. Despite the moniker, these fillings contain very little silver. Instead, they’re a mixture of metals, an amalgam. One of these metals is arguably the most toxic metal on Earth – mercury.

Every day, around the world, dentists continue to place fillings containing mercury, despite proven links between mercury and dementia, birth defects, Alzheimer’s, and more. So why, if they’re so toxic, are they still placed in patients’ mouths every day?

The answer is simple – it’s mostly economics.

There are four major reasons why dentists still put mercury in your mouth:
• They’re easier to do, not as technique-sensitive as composite or plastic fillings.
• They’re covered by most insurance.
• Customers (patients) are more willing to pay for them, because they’re cheaper.
• They last a long time without causing obvious pain or symptoms from the tooth.

None of these reasons should trump your long-term health, or that of other patients visiting the dentist. Mercury vapors can remain in the air up to thirty minutes after a filling’s placed, so if you visit the dentist after someone else had one done, you could be inhaling toxic mercury vapors.

Our practice has gone beyond simply not placing these fillings, since removing them without precautions can also expose you – and your dental team – to mercury vapor. We’ve developed one of the most comprehensive amalgam removal programs in the nation, employing safety techniques used in less than one percent of dental offices in America.

We also use several methods of determining biocompatibility of replacement materials, including:
Electrodermal testing (EDT), electrodermal screening (EDS), or electroacupuncture according to Voll (EAV).
Applied Kinesiology, aka muscle testing.
Blood serum testing from Biocomp Laboratories.

Which one’s best for you?
Depends. We’ve seen instances where a patient is okay with blood serum testing for a material, but when we muscle test for it, they’re “weak.” Both you and your dentist should know what’s in dental materials before they go into your mouth. Not many dentists test materials for biocompatibility, however, so it’s up to you to ask. Make the extra effort.

It’s your mouth – and your money.

Dr. Matthew Carpenter of Transcend Dental Health uses drill-free air abrasion, ozone therapy, natural alternatives to antibiotics, and non-surgical treatment of gum disease. (512) 255-3618,


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