This article is from the Amalgam-Related Illness FAQ, by Leif Hedegard.
At the American Dental Association (ADA) you have the possibility to search their www-pages. (In March 1997 I got links to 40 ADA documents when I searched for: "mercury OR toxic". However it seems that this search-engine will only show the first 40 articles it finds, even if there are more articles fulfilling the search-criteria).
Dental organisations are often "pro-amalgam", the ADA in particular. Based on the lack of documentation behind their pro-amalgam arguments I requested that the American Dental Association provide scientific documentation to back up the statements / recommendations that is controversial:
As an example I pick the article: "Dental Amalgam: 150 years of Safety and Effectiveness" from ADA NewsRelease (even put as an .pdf-file on my own www-pages) where:
ADA claims 1):
"People are exposed to more total mercury from food, water and air than from the minuscule amounts of mercury vapor generated from amalgam fillings"
This is highly controversial, (WHO 1991) and others, se section 7 in this FAQ for more referenses, reports that amalgam is the biggest source of mercury. This is far away from the emotional word "minuscule". Here ADA should provide documentations or change their way of "informing".
ADA claims 2)
"dental amalgam... contains a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which chemically binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance"
This is highly controversial, ADA say that amalgam is stable. Stable should mean that mercury does not leave the fillings, but it it does leave the fillings (Bjorkman 1992, Gay 1979, Langworth 1988, Skare 1994, WHO 1991...)
The word safe is used in a controverial way: DHHS (1993) says that "...health risks can not be totally ruled out because of the paucity of definite human studies... additional studies is needed to resolve the question of whether the mercury in dental amalgam poses any significant health risk to patients..." and NIH (1992) says that: "Lack of reliable quantitative estimates of the risks and benefits of the various dental materials discussed at this conference precludes calculation of benefit/risk ratios. The paucity of data concerning predictable risks associated with restorative dental materials was striking". Here ADA should provide documentations or change their way of "informing".
ADA claims 3)
"Used for more than 150 years, dental amalgam (a.k.a. silver filling) is a safe"
This is highly controversial. If this way of "proving" what was safe were to be used in medical areas it would set a new standard for what is to be looked upon as safe. For me it more shows the "the paucity of definite human studies" when ADA has to use such an argument instead of provide scientific documentation to back up their statement. Here ADA should provide documentation or change their way of "informing". When reading material from any source, ADA in special, always ask for scientific documentation!
At the British Dental Associations WWW-pages, I found one article "Amalgam facts" in the area of amalgam illness (even put as an .pdf-file on my own www-pages). (I looked in March 1997) Quote from that document:
"Whether amalgam can be called 'safe' is a matter for manufacturers of amalgam and for the Department of Health, and for the toxicologists and other scientists who advise them. Dentists comment on the dental properties of the material."
And all the same they comment in the same document in a way that is highly controversial and could be taken as amalgam were proven to be safe:
"The amount of mercury which reaches the rest of the body is very small and its relationship to the number of teeth with amalgam fillings is unclear."
They use words like very small when amalgam is reported to be the populations biggest source of mercury (WHO 91), this without even giving a reference to back it up with. Their opinion that the relationship to the number of teeth with amalgam fillings is unclear i controversial especially as they provide no scientific documents to back their belives up. I my self here provide a couple of quotes from scientific documents to back up my position that the BDAs believe is controversial at least:
Also make sure to read these books: Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings...Hazardous to Your Health! and Mercury Detoxification by Tom McGuire