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science, medicine and the environment | I Didn't Know
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September 25, 1997

Q: Can the mercury in my dental fillings cause health problems?

A: No, according to the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Silver fillings do contain a small amount of mercury, which acts as a glue to bind the fillings together, but no scientific evidence has shown that the mercury causes disease.

The U.S. Public Health Service, the Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization and the American Dental Assn. all support continued use of mercury amalgam fillings as a safe, durable and cost-effective way to repair cavities. And despite rumors, no country has banned their use or is planning to.

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