Dental amalgam fillings do not adversely affect brain development in children, or their neurological status, according to a recent report published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. Dental amalgam contains elemental mercury, plus silver, copper, tin, and zinc to form a stable alloy, and has long been used to save dacaying teeth.
A seven year study of 507 Portuguese children, aged 8 through 12 years, who had received amalgam or resin-based composite fillings, conducted routine neurological tests for hard and soft neurological damage to the children, and for the presence of tremor.
There was no difference between the two groups of children after seven years with regard to the presence or absence of tremor. Neither was there any difference in the presence, absence or severity of soft signs. And since these were healthy children, any neurological sot signs diminished as they grew older.
"Even at the levels of amalgam exposure in this study (a mean of 7.7-10.7 amalgam surfaces per subject across the seven years of follow-up)," the authors write, "[we] conclude that exposure to mercury from dental amalgam does not adversely affect neurological status.
"These data indicate the absence of a generalized negative effect on children’s nervous system functions stemming from the presence of dental amalgam," they continue, "and while we cannot rule out potential adverse reactions in individual children, we found no indications of any."
Source: American Dental Association (ADA)