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It is clear that there is strong disagreement between the American Dental Association, Consumer and professional groups and certain physicians regarding the safety  of amalgam fillings.  According to each side, there is research that bears out their position regarding the use of mercury in amalgam fillings. This being said much of the research I have seen seems to question the use of amalgam fillings rather than support it.
Many say that the ADA is biased because they are trying to protect the profession from possible legal liability.  It has been known since medieval times that mercury is a poison.  A more balanced view is that dentists for the most part are a pretty altruistic group when it comes to watching out for the patient’s best interest. A big consideration for the ADA has always been cost and the availability of other treatment choices. There were simply not as many choices even 10-20 years ago as there are today.  However today there are other choices and amalgam fillings are still widely used because of cost.
Despite this, there remains disagreement and controversy when it comes to amalgams that is likely to continue for quite some time. So what is a patient to do? Unfortunately, after hearing all the facts and discussing your individual situation with your health care providers, you are going to have to rely on your own good sense and decide for yourself.
Advantages of using Amalgams:
1. Cheaper than most other fillings
2. Relatively easy to place
3. Can be placed in presence of moisture
4. Lasts a long time
5. Resists new decay probably because it is hard and contains mercury
Disadvantages of using Amalgams:
1. Not very cosmetic looking
2. Tarnishes and corrodes over time
3. Releases mercury in small amounts
4. Weakens the tooth over time because of cracking
5. Causes galvanic (stress) reaction with other metals
6. Often stains underlying tooth black