Many patients have become concerned that amalgam restorations, which contain mercury, may be leaching from the tooth and causing health issues such as lichen planus and other skin related disease states. Reports of studies and articles have linked amalgam material to multiple sclerosis, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and poorer health in individuals. Mercury accumulation in the body is known to come from exposure to the substance through fish consumption and occupational exposure. It has been well-known that physical handling of mercury is toxic and associated with hair loss, tremors, brain disorders-mental instability, loss of teeth and difficulty walking. As patients read current research, they continue to ask if their amalgams should be removed. The dental professional is being called upon to answer these questions and engage in dialogue with the patient. With new regulations on amalgam separators that are mandated to be in place by 2020, more questions have been raised on the environmental aspects of mercury contamination as well.

This continuing education course is designed to assist in answering specific questions that a patient may ask a dental professional about the concerns that they have related to dental amalgam materials. This course will also state some specific recommendations for consideration if the removal of amalgam is warranted and also review the safety considerations for those who work in the dental office such as dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and front desk personnel, as well as the patient receiving treatment.