This article is from the Amalgam and Mercury-free Dentistry FAQ.
Dental amalgam is the most commonly used dental filling material. The
dental profession refers to this material as ''Silver'' amalgam,
''Silver'' fillings, or just ''amalgam'' fillings. Dental amalgam is a
mixture of mercury and a metal alloy. The normal composition is 45-55%
mercury; approximately 30% silver, and other metals such as copper,
tin and zinc, dependent upon each manufacturers specific formula. It
is obvious from the above composition that his material should
rightfully be called ''Mercury'' fillings or ''Mercury/Silver''
fillings. However, since the beginning of its use as a dental filling
material until the present time, some 150 years or more, the use of
the word ''mercury'' in describing this type of filling has been
studiously avoided. Could it be that the ADA and the dental profession
did not want the patient to know that approximately 1/2 of the
material implanted in their teeth was actually one of the most toxic
metals known to man? The guise is so effective that most physicians do
not know that they have had mercury implanted in their teeth. Mercury
is more toxic than arsenic, lead and cadmium.