Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.

Amalgam is a safe, durable filling material

Dental amalgam is considered a safe, long-lasting, and versatile tooth restorative material that has been in use for more than 150 years and has restored the teeth of more than 100 million Americans.

Dental amalgam contains a mixture of metals such as mercury, silver, copper, and tin, which chemically bind together into a hard, stable and safe substance. Concern about amalgam's mercury content is unfounded. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.

A comparison of dental amalgam to other restorative materials can be found in the California Dental Materials Fact Sheet.


The California Dental Association looks to the federal and international public health agencies to determine the safety of all products used in the practice of dentistry. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Public Health Service, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services all have found dental amalgam to be a safe and effective dental restorative material. These public health organizations continue to review and monitor the literature and research to ensure the safety of the public.

American Academy of Pediatrics

Although dental amalgams are a source of mercury exposure and are associated with slightly higher urinary mercury excretion, there is no scientific evidence of any measurable clinical toxic effects other than rare hypersensitivity reactions. An expert panel for the National Institutes of Health has concluded that existing evidence indicates dental amalgams do not pose a health risk and should not be replaced merely to decrease mercury exposure.
Pediatrics, Vol. 108, No. 1, July 2001, pp. 197-205. American Academy of Pediatrics

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

"FDA and other organizations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) continue to investigate the safety of amalgams used in dental restorations (fillings). However, no valid scientific evidence has ever shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations."
FDA Consumer Update, December 31, 2002.

World Health Organization and World Dental Federation

"No controlled studies have been published demonstrating systemic adverse health effects from amalgam restorations. Amalgam restorations are durable and cost-effective; they are, however, not tooth-colored."
Consensus statement, September 1997

Information provided by