Video: Amalgam Removal and Replacement
Video: Composite Resin Bonding Shrinkage Problems
The Chemistry of Amalgam Fillings
The World Heath Organization has concluded that dental fillings contribute more mercury to a person’s body than all other sources of mercury combined. Many people do not realize that their dark, “silver” amalgam fillings are 50% mercury.
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A large filling may contain as much mercury as a thermometer. Mercury vaporizes easily at room temperature and in this state, is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Inhaled mercury vapor is readily absorbed into the bloodstream. No amount of mercury vapor can be considered harmless, especially considering its cumulative effect.
Known Mercury Toxicity Issues
Published research demonstrates that mercury is more toxic than lead, cadmium or arsenic. Due to its poisonous nature, mercury can adversely affect the immune, urinary, cardiac, respiratory and digestive systems.
Under laboratory conditions, mercury has produced brain cell deterioration identical to that seen in victims of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Mercury poisoning has been implicated in immune system depression, multiple sclerosis, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome and autism.
Europe versus United States Governmental Philosophy
Many European countries have banned or curtailed the use of mercury in dental fillings, but our country lags behind in this decision. Although most medical and scientific researchers have called for a ban on the use of mercury in all products, agreeing that it is the most toxic, non-radioactive element on the earth, the U.S. government has continued to ignore the potential harmful effects of mercury fillings.
Holistic Dentistry Issues
Biological or holistic dentists recognize the impact of toxic materials and relate it to dental and physiologic health. A holistic dentist is concerned with the integrity of the oral cavity and will typically use materials and procedures in his/her practice that are systemically compatible.
Patients should keep in mind that amalgam is a material that is over 150 years old and there are many modern alternatives that can be considered.
Precautions for Safe Effective Healthful Amalgam Removal
To prevent additional mercury exposure, biologic and holistic dentists are properly trained in the removal of mercury fillings.
Patients should inquire about the following amalgam removal protocols to be certain that the dentist they choose is following the recommended protocols for amalgam removal such as:
The Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies in each of the United States focused on mercury related issues can be expected to have differing policies and recommendatins. In the area of dentistry, it is recommended you ask your dentist.
- Utilizing an effective oral suction system to contain amalgam particles and limit mercury vapors
- A rubber dam should isolate and prevent swallowing debris
- Operating a vacuum system at optimal efficiency
- Applying copious amounts of water to the filling during removal
- Removing large portions of the amalgam to minimize particulate and mercury vapor release
- Providing a safe source of oxygen for the patient to breath during removal
- Having the patient’s hair, face and clothing covered during removal