Well there is a big war over this still.
Technically the mercury in fillings is bonded to other chemicals in the alloy and as such won't instantly poison you. Dentists usually say in their defense, that 'hydrogen is very explosive, yet water is H20 and we drink it all the time", however this is a bad example, as in fillings some of the mercury DOES leak out, this is a fact. What is up for debate, is whether enough leaks out to cause harm. What doesn't help is that many of the anti-mercury studies done are badly constructed and inconclusive.
On one hand it makes no sense for dentists to advise mercury, because composite ones cost more, and need to be replaced more often, which = more money for the dentist.
But on the other hand, it does make sense, as who wants to admit to a huge blunder.
Then there is the fact that Sweden have discontinued their use and gave replacements for free. And there are some links to high levels of the mercury in the brain and Alzheimers, not sufficiently studied yet though. Tests on dentists regularly exposed to mercury preperations report decreased fine motor coordination, again this could be bollocks.
Also, many of the pro-mercury people say "besides, there are potentially hazardous chemicals in composites" which is unprofessional and a poor argument, to deny mercury is bad for you yet also offer composite fillings and cast doubt on their safety, lol.
With the above in mind, I say it's not worth having mercury unless it's a large molar filling and needs to be extra tough, why take the risk. Composites are also getting stronger these days, much more durable than they used to be.
Ask your dentist whether he gives his children mercury fillings as well.
post edited by Onizuka - 2005/07/25 23:23:17