It is not a secret that dental amalgam metal fillings can be dangerous in some cases and many patients have legitimate concerns about their fillings. Amalgam fillings are 50% composed of mercury (which is a poisonous material) and other supporting metals such as zinc, silver or copper. Mercury is necessary to make the filling more soft and able to withstand the force of chewing. Over time, the exposed teeth surface change, fillings corrode and toxic materials start to evaporate. Mercury exposure is absorbed by the body in small portions causing irreversible health risks.
The Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning
The intensity and toxicity of mercury exposure depend on the quality, size and number of restoration, chewing habits, grinding, brushing and individual physiological factors. Here are some symptoms and reactions to mercury that can be signals of the developing disease or complications that may have adverse effects on your long-term health:
- Breathing disorders: asthma, bronchitis, cough
- Cardiological problems: anemia, chest pain, rapid heartbeats
- Muscles’ pain: tenderness, sore muscles, jaw joint dysfunction
- Oral health problems: bleeding gums, periodontal diseases, lost of taste and sense, a metallic taste, dark spots on the gums
- Brain dysfunctions: poor memory, deconcentration, brain fog
- Emotional and psychological disorders: depression, anxiety, nervousness and mood swings, so-called “mercury madness”
If you experience some of these symptoms over time, don’t hesitate to address the issue to your dentist.
Should I Remove a Toxic Metal Amalgam Filling?
You should remove fillings with toxic metals if it is worn, broken or when there is decay beneath the filling. It is not necessary to remove a good amalgam filling, as with its removal you will also lose healthy parts of the teeth and may provoke more mercury exposure than if you left it untouched. It is also a proven fact that people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s and Lyme diseases tend to be more sensitive to mercury vapor. If you are concerned about amalgam filling, suspect an allergy or sensitivity to its vapor, you should consult all possible options that are better for your health and well-being with our dentists.
Are There Any Contradictions to Having a Toxic Filling Removed?
Any disruption of a toxic filling shouldn’t be made on pregnant women or lactating patients. Mercury vapor can contribute to learning and developmental disorders of the fetus or a nursing baby.
The Procedure of Toxic Filling Removal
In our dental office, we maintain the highest standards to ensure the safe removal of your toxic filling. We follow the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique to reduce the potential risks of mercury exposure to patients and our dental staff. The procedure of removal is performed through several steps:
- We keep a dental amalgam filling cool during the whole procedure. This helps reduce the amount of toxic vapor released.
- A high-volume evacuator system is used to gather all particles of mercury vaporization that can be harmful for both the patient and the dentist.
- We provide our patients with special protective masks to wear during the procedure and an alternative air source – everything to minimize toxic inhalations.
- Using non-latex, rubber dam enables to isolate the toxic area and lessen the risk of mercury breathing and swallowing.
- When the procedure of toxic filling removal is over, used gloves and rub dams are disposed, the patient’s mouth is carefully rinsed and vacuumed.
- We have an advanced air purification system that helps eliminate any toxic vapors left in the air.
- Once all particles of the mercury fillings are removed, the dentist will refill the cavities you have with mercury-free white fillings.
Does Replacing a Filling Hurt?
Replacing your amalgam filling should be similar to the experience you had with getting a filling the first time. The dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area before removing and replacing the filling. Your dentist will provide you with post-removal instructions. It’s important to follow your dentist’s orders. If you experience any pain or discomfort after treatment, call your dental office right away.
Are There Safer Fillings That Can Be Used?
Yes. At our dental office, we will replace your toxic metal fillings with white fillings instead. White fillings are safer than amalgam fillings and do not have toxic levels of mercury so there are much less adverse reactions. We recommend white fillings to patients because these fillings are better for your oral health.
What Are White Fillings?
White fillings look like your natural teeth and are safe for those with sensitivity to mercury from typical amalgam fillings. There are very few complications with white fillings. Some patients feel some pain or sensitivity for a few days after treatment. White fillings also need to be replaced every 7 years as they will become worn out from use. Your dentist will discuss the types of fillings available. White fillings are a great way to fix your smile without the toxins from amalgam dental fillings.
Keeping proper oral hygiene and an appropriate diet is recommended to all patients who have undergone the procedure. Try to eat more fruits and vegetables to help your immune system get through the detoxification period and return to good dental health. If you have any concerns after having your fillings replaced, contact your dentist as soon as possible.