- Your dentist should always use a proper isolation technique with a dental rubber dam to minimize exposure to mercury contact and/or swallowing amalgam debris.
- Check that your dentist is using a high-speed and low-speed suction device to rapidly remove amalgam, and ask for an oxygen nose mask, if available, to reduce the risk of inhaling mercury vapor during removal.
- Before and after amalgam replacement, take chlorella (freshwater algae tablets or powder), a chlorophyll-rich nutritional supplement shown to assist with mercury excretion from the intestines.
- Vitamin C has also been shown to be effective in assisting with mercury elimination. Take after meals and apart from chlorella.
- Cilantro is the most celebrated herb to assist with intracellular mercury elimination.
1 AnswerHere are some ways you can protect yourself from mercury when having amalgam fillings removed:Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
1 AnswerPeople with the following conditions may want to speak to their dentist about having their amalgam fillings removed:
- Patients who have recurrent decay and/or defective margins around their dental amalgam fillings.
- Patients who have eight or more dental amalgam fillings.
- Patients who have exhibited an allergy or sensitivity to dental amalgam.
- Patients who have bruxism (grind their teeth) or who consume high quantities of acidic foods and carbonated beverages, both of which have been demonstrated to cause prolonged higher levels of exposure to mercury vapor from dental amalgam restorations.
1 AnswerPeer-reviewed scientific studies have come to opposite conclusions on whether the mercury exposure from amalgam fillings causes health problems.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated, “There is limited clinical information about the potential effects of dental amalgam fillings on pregnant women and their developing fetuses, and on children under the age of 6, including breastfed infants.” In 2002, the FDA also issued a statement on dental amalgam asserting that "no valid scientific evidence exists that has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in the rare case of allergy.”
On the other hand, a 1991-1997 study of 3,162 patients in Sweden and Germany found that 719 of those with mercury fillings, or 23%, tested positive for systemic allergic sensitivity to inorganic mercury. A paper published as part of a 1991 National Institutes of Health conference on side effects of dental restorative materials reported a 22.53% incidence of allergy in subjects who had amalgam fillings for more than five years. A 2003 monograph on mercury toxicity from the World Health Organization concluded that studies on humans and animals demonstrated that dental amalgam contributes significantly to the mercury body burden in humans with amalgam fillings, and that dental amalgam is the most common form of exposure to elemental mercury in the general population.
1 AnswerThe greatest exposure of mercury vapor to the patient (and dentist) is when dental amalgams are first placed in the tooth and when they are removed. Once believed to be “locked into the filling,” mercury vapor is now widely recognized to be emitted from the fillings surface, but the actual harm of this vapor has been highly contested.
1 AnswerSince the Civil War, mercury-containing fillings (often called “silver” or “amalgam”) continue to be used extensively to fill dental cavities. While the use of mercury-free fillings, such as tooth-colored composite resins and ceramics, is becoming more prevalent and better performing, approximately 46% of dentists in the United States still use mercury-containing dental amalgam. Unfortunately, many dentists continue to place mercury-containing fillings, calling them amalgams or “silver fillings,” with many patients remaining uninformed of its mercury content.
Mercury use in health, consumer, and industrial products has declined precipitously in all products over the past 30 years, but in dentistry, this decline has only been slight, such that dental fillings jumped from 2% of all mercury products two decades ago to over 20% in 2001.
2 AnswersAmerican Dental Association answered
Dentists and their families are part of communities across the country and protecting the environment is just as important to them as it is to everyone.
Just as people increasingly are recycling at home, the American Dental Association encourages recycling in the dental office. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that dentistry accounts for less than 1 percent of mercury released to the environment. To manage amalgam waste properly, the ADA developed step-by-step recycling guidelines for dental offices which results in up to 99 percent of amalgam waste captured and recycled to prevent release to the environment.
In its proposed treaty to limit the amount of mercury in the environment, the United Nations Environment Program stated in 2013 that the burning of coal is the largest single manmade source of mercury in the environment. The ADA is gratified that the UNEP treaty conditions pertaining to dental amalgam protect this important treatment option without restrictions for patients while balancing the need to protect the environment. The ADA believes dental amalgam is vital for people throughout the world to continue to have access to a safe, durable, affordable treatment for tooth decay.
1 AnswerSaul Miller, Dentistry, answered
Just as teeth can have problems that require fillings or restorations, similarly fillings can have problems that may cause them to need repair of replacement. Fillings, no matter how well placed, can wear, fracture, deteriorate and recurrent decay may develop on surrounding tooth structure.
It is important to have regular exams to maintain your teeth, restorations and gums. In this way problems can be treated and resolved at an early stage.
1 AnswerPhilip Uffer, DDS, Dentistry, answered
The pros of amalgam:
- Amalgam has an extremely long (and successful) track record.
- Amalgam can be placed in areas where it is difficult to keep the tooth dry.
- Amalgam is very durable.
- Amalgam is less technique sensitive.
- Amaglam can be more effective at spanning larger spaces between teeth.
The cons of amalgam:
- Doesn't match surrounding tooth.
- Can impart a gray color if the tooth is thin enough to let it show through.
- There is some controversy about the mercury (by the way, composite resins can contain bisphenols).
1 AnswerHealthwise answered
It is important to start treatment before tooth decay becomes worse. More severe decay may cause pain and tooth loss and may require a costly crown, a root canal, or tooth removal (extraction).
Some dentists now use a laser system to remove tooth decay and prepare the tooth for filling. Laser treatment is a relatively new choice for dental treatment and may not be available in your area.
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