The fate of mercury (Hg) released from dental "silver" amalgam tooth fillings into human mouth air is uncertain. A previous report about sheep revealed uptake routes and distribution of amalgam Hg among body tissues. The present investigation demonstrates the bodily distribution of amalgam Hg in a monkey whose dentition, diet, feeding regimen, and chewing pattern closely resemble those of humans. When amalgam fillings, which normally contain 50% Hg, are made with a tracer of radioactive 203Hg and then placed into monkey teeth, the isotope appears in high concentration in various organs and tissues within 4 wk. Whole-body images of the monkey revealed that the highest levels of Hg were located in the kidney, gastrointestinal tract, and jaw. The dental profession's advocacy of silver amalgam as a stable tooth restorative material is not supported by these findings.