Mercury in your fillings and why you should remove it

Do you need to remove all the old mercury-laden silver fillings for fear of related health issues?

A hot topic in dentistry today revolves around the use of silver fillings (amalgams) in our mouths.

Many Dental professionals and people from around the world are currently debating this hot topic.

Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin and, at certain levels, can cause neurological issues, autoimmune disease, chronic illnesses and mental disorders. But the questions is; whether an unknown quantity of mercury vapor in our silver fillings at a constant exposure poses a significant health risk.

Amalgams consist of 50% mercury along with a combination of silver, tin, and copper. Studies have found that the amount of mercury vapor from amalgams varies from 1- 3 ug/day (micrograms/day), at the low estimation, up to 27 ug/day. This translates to 3% to 68% of workplace air quality standards that are allowable by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, USA federal environmental agency). What this means is, at the high level with continuous exposure, the levels are shown to be unhealthy. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also stated that the exposure to mercury vapor can greatly increase beyond this number due to our personal habits such as grinding of the teeth, chewing gum, and drinking carbonated drinks. This could lead to a fivefold increase in mercury levels after these activities.

In 2008, Scandinavian countries took action and banned the use of amalgam fillings for environmental and health reasons.

Although there are conflicting studies between Sweden and the United States. In Sweden, they have conducted a number of studies where people, with pre-existing neurological and health issues (Chronic Fatigue-type symptoms), had amalgams removed; 78% reported improvement in their health status. In the United States however, official studies hired by the FDA and National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated that “the current data is insufficient to support an association between mercury release from amalgams and the various complaints that have been attributed to this restorative material.”

At DaVinci’s Dental Care we take this issue very seriously, and use stringent protocols for the removal of all Amalgam fillings for our patients.

Firstly, a rubber dam isolating the tooth is used to collect the amalgam debris.A high suction machine is used in the room to prevent any gas from escaping.We also use science to help with the removal of mercury, as the only clinic in Costa Rica to use Micro dentistry, it helps our dental team see to the microscopic level making sure no microscopic particles are left in the tooth, or the mouth, further ensuring the safest approach for each patient.The amalgam fillings are then replaced with non-metal materials like composite and porcelain depending on the patient case.

 

If you have any question about your fillings, and would like further information contact our International Patient Coordinator today at clinic@davincisdentalcare.com

Keven Peoples