Replace Mercury Fillings
What’s the concern?
Is the concern legitimate?
If you have dental fillings, they are most likely amalgam fillings containing mercury. In the past two decades public concern over the harmful effects of amalgam fillings containing mercury has been growing. Does mercury leech from the fillings, and are the effects harmful?
The FDA is known for its conservative stance on this and other health issues. If the FDA shows concern, then people definitely need to take action. Let’s visit the FDA page on mercury amalgam fillings. Here are some observations:
According to the FDA (2008 statement), “Dental amalgams contain mercury, which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses.” Its earlier 2006 statement did not acknowledge any harmful effects. This movement shows an FDA trend toward officially recognizing the danger of mercury amalgam fillings. Note a more indepth list of dangers later in this article.
It is to be noted that the FDA in 2009 “does not recomend that you have your amalgam fillings removed.” We wonder how that statement may change in the coming years. Its interesting that the FDA, acknowledging its stance as conservative, points readers on it’s web site to the stronger statements of the health organizations of three other countries:
(Download 2010 FDA Report as PDF)
What can you do?
Safe removal of amalgam (mercury-compound) fillings:
Could you be endangered during the removal of your mercury amalgam fillings? The consensus is not to remove mercury amalgam fillings during a pregnancy or during nursing. However, if you are not pregnant or nursing, there is a safe procedure for removing amalgam fillings that protects the patient from mercury exposure during the removal process. Here are seven guidelines for a “mercury safe dentist”:
- Keep the fillings cool during removal Cooling the filling with water and air while drilling substantially reduces the amount of mercury vapor the filling releases. Heat can cause mercury vapor release.
- Cut the Amalgam into Chunks This involves less drilling (drilling generates heat).
- Use a high-volume evacuator
- Provide the patient with an alternative source of air
- Use a rubber dam A rubber dam isolates the tooth or teeth being worked on. 3rd molars, or so-called wisdom teeth, may make it impossible to place a rubber dam.
- Remove gloves and clean the patient’s mouth This will help remove amalgam particles and residual mercury vapor from the mouth.
- Immediately clean up During the procedure the patient should breathe through the nose and avoid swallowing during rinsing. After the rinsing procedure use a small amount of water and gargle as far back into the throat as possible. Spit the watery residue into a sink or cup–don’t swallow it.
Additional background information:
Toxic mercury contamination from amalgam fillings:
- The mercury released from amalgam fillings is absorbed primarily as highly toxic elemental mercury vapor.
- Mercury released from fillings builds up in the brain, pituitary, adrenals, and other parts of the body.
- Mercury absorption is estimated to be approximately four times higher from amalgam fillings than from fish consumption.
- Amalgam fillings made since the 1970s use non-gamma-2 (high copper) which releases many times more mercury than older style amalgam fillings.
- Mercury from fillings in pregnant women has been shown to cause mercury accumulation in brain, kidneys and liver of human fetuses. Mercury can be passed to infants from breast milk.
- Gum chewing, grinding of teeth/bruxism, computer terminal exposure, presence of gold fillings or gold crowns (even if covering mercury fillings), teeth brushing, braces, and chewing cause the release of significantly increased amounts of mercury from the fillings.
Some potential effects of toxic mercury release from amalgam fillings:
- Cause damage to the brain, kidneys and immune systems of Children
- Linked to neurological problems, sleep disturbances, concentration problems, memory disturbances, bleeding gums and other mouth disorders
- Connected to Alzheimer’s Disease
- Implicated as a possible contribuatory factor in some cases of Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, IBS, reproductive disorders, allergies, and a variety of other illnesses.
Around the world:
World-reknowned Experts Agree About Potential Danger
Lars Friberg, the lead toxicologist on the World Health Organization team looking at inorganic mercury and health effects recently stated that he believes that mercury is unsuitable for dental materials because of safety concerns.
Canadian Class Action Lawsuit
Canadians are in the process of beginning a major class action lawsuit based on the fact that the government knew of but did not warn the public about mercury dangers from amalgam fillings.
Legal actions related to mercury exposure from mercury amalgam fillings and vaccines are beginning in the United States.
We wonder why the FDA would want to make sure that we know these other health organizations have stronger statements than the FDA is willing to make.
If you are uncomfortable knowing that your dental fillings contain mercury there are two positive actions you can take:
- Next time you need dental fillings, seek an alternative to fillingswhich contain mercury.
- Have your amalgam fillings safely removed.
Dr. Wolpo can help you take one or both of the above actions.
Alternatives to fillings which contain mercury:
- Resin composites are tooth-colored materials made from powdered glass and resin compounds. These may need to be replaced sooner than metal-based materials, but science is continually increasing their strength and durability and most importantly, they are not toxic.
- Porcelain, gold, and other metals are also used as filling materials. Gold and porcelain are used for inlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges.