Safe Amalgam Removal

Dental amalgam is a liquid mercury and metal alloy mixture used in dentistry to fill cavities. It is known under different names: silver fillings, amalgam fillings, and mercury fillings – however

the most appropriate name is Mercury fillings – since the main component, with over 50% is Mercury. Mercury ( Hg) is the 5th most poisonous non-radioactive metal on earth( !!) , along with Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium and Lead.
Dental Amalgam is a material widely used for cavity restoration in dentistry. It was first introduced in dentistry in 1800 hundreds. With minor modifications, the same composition of the alloy was used ever since.

Dental amalgam has 2 main parts - components, at the approximate ratio of 50:50.

According to the World Health Organization, the normal composition of amalgam is 45-55% mercury (A), approximately 30% silver and other metals such as copper, tin and zinc.
In 1991, the World Health Organization confirmed that mercury contained in dental amalgam is the greatest source of mercury vapor in non-industrialized settings, exposing the concerned population to mercury levels significantly exceeding those set for food and for air (B).

Why is mercury used in dental amalgam? Because of its ability to bind other metals together, hence, it is used as the base for the amalgam alloy. Due to its low melting point, it is set at 38 degrees Celsius, mercury’s primary danger it’s gaseous – the mercury vapor.

According to the same paper from WHO (A) Mercury is highly toxic, especially when metabolized into methyl mercury. It may be fatal if inhaled and harmful if absorbed through the skin. Around 80% of the inhaled mercury vapour is absorbed in the blood through the lungs.

It may cause harmful effects to the nervous, digestive, respiratory, immune systems and to the kidneys, besides causing lung damage. Adverse health effects from mercury exposure can be:  Tremors, impaired vision and hearing, paralysis, insomnia, emotional instability, developmental deficits during fetal development, and attention deficit and developmental delays during childhood. Recent studies suggest that mercury may have no threshold below which some adverse effects do not occur.

The few stages where the mercury vapor is released at its highest from dental amalgam are:

  • Placement of the amalgam
  • Restoration of the amalgam
  • Removal of the amalgam

During the placement of the fillings, the mercury is mixed with the metals alloy and applied into the dental cavity, hence releasing mercury vapor.

During the restoration, the heat from the friction of the dental drills will release mercury vapor.

During the removal of the amalgam fillings, the act of drilling into the filling releases dangerously high levels of mercury vapor as well.

Due to Mercury’s low melting point, once the amalgam in patient’s mouth, it will be releasing micro-doses of mercury vapor every time the person takes a hot drink or a hot meal, when the patient undergoes a dental cleaning, while grinding – in any situation when there is heat applied to the amalgam filling.

The inhaled mercury vapor is not excreted by the body through the natural detoxification pathways such as sweat, urine, feces or respiration. The major reason mercury is toxic to human biology is because mercury has the ability to bind to sulfur-containing molecules in the body (found in nearly every enzyme and in the mitochondria), as well as other chemical binding sites in the cells.

Mercury is lipophilic, meaning that it concentrates in the fatty tissues of the body, especially in the brain which is made mostly of fat. That means that measuring mercury levels in the blood and urine will not represent an accurate picture of the body’s toxic load of this particular metal. Inorganic mercury from dental fillings is found in plasma but is rapidly processed by the body and stored in your main organs: brain, kidneys and liver, lung and gastro-intestinal tract.

Once in your body, the mercury primarily is distributed between the brain and kidneys and can readily be transferred to the fetus via the placenta.

According to a study done in Taiwan, looking into the relationship between fish consumption and total mercury concentration in maternal blood, umbilical cord blood, and placenta - the high mercury concentrations found in pregnant women in Taipei are a cause for concern due to the known fetal adverse effects.

The study is assessing the effect of elevated fish consumption and high mercury levels, however studies confirm that the exposure to mercury from dental amalgam is much higher than exposure from fish and seafood consumption(C).

The biggest danger of the mercury from amalgam fillings is in the continuous micro-exposure. According to the recent studies, conclusions point to the fact that the half-life of inorganic mercury in human brains is up to several decades (D).

Because the mercury toxicity load in the brain becomes higher and higher as the years go by,the brain succumbs to various diseases.

There are more and more studies linking mercury toxicity to brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (E) and Multiple Sclerosis.

Studies provide evidence of potential benefits of amalgam removal to Multiple Sclerosis patients. Research from the MELISA Foundation published in 2004 evaluated the health effects of amalgam removal in mercury-allergic patients with autoimmunity, and the highest rate of improvement occurred in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (F).

For decades, the toxic effects of mercury were associated mainly with the central nervous system; however, inorganic mercury also produces profound cardiotoxicity (G).

Studies show that chronic low doses of mercury (as is the case of mercury fillings) increases the risk of hypertension, myocardial infarction, coronary dysfunction, and atherosclerosis (H).
When mercury enters the human body, it will affect every single vital organ and system.

Besides the obvious long-term health risks associated with mercury, some patients with amalgam fillings develop an allergy to mercury resulting in mouth conditions such as Oral Lichenoid – resulting in very uncomfortable lesions in the mouth. Alopecia is another common condition. The severity of alopecia is directly related to the number of amalgam fillings – the higher the number of silver fillings – the more severe the condition.

Currently, mercury fillings are still widely used around the world, statistically 50% of all fillings placed around the world are still mercury fillings.

While mercury fillings are still deemed “safe” by major international dental organization, a rising body of scientific research proves otherwise.

Mercury has been proven to be:

  • neuro-toxin – damaging your nervous system
  • immuno-suppressant – interfering, damaging and stopping your immune system’s normal function
  • endocrine disrupter
  • causing auto-immune disorders such as chronic fatigue

Mercury from dental amalgam not only harms humans directly – through dental reconstruction, but also it has a huge environmental footprint. For example, according to a report submitted to the OSPAR Commission, in the United Kingdom, annually 7.41 tones of mercury from dental amalgam are discharged to the sewer, atmosphere or land, with another 11.5 tones sent for recycling or disposed with the clinical waste stream. Together, mercury contained in dental amalgam and in laboratory and medical devices, account for about 53% of the total mercury emissions (A).

Once released into the environment, dental mercury will go on and contaminate our water systems and its inhabitants. The mercury toxicity of some marine animals is partially due to the amalgam problem. Because if Mercury’s high toxicity – many layers of protection are needed to safely remove the silver fillings. We have researched the best practices around the world and have adopted the SMART protocol designed by IAOMT – International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.

Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique.

The special protection measures of the SMART protocol – all adopted at Dr. Roze and Associates dental clinic are:

  • A dental dam is used in the patient’s mouth to ensure that no accidental ingestion of mercury vapor can occur. The dam is a special Nitrile dam. The mercury vapor cannot penetrate through the Nitrile dam.
  • A high-volume air filtration device – completed with a special “nozzle” is placed as close as possible to the oral cavity. The air filter is equipped with special, industrial grade filters specifically design to capture mercury. The nozzle works as a vacuum cleaner – trapping any mercury vapor that is released from the amalgam.
  • Oxygen is delivered to the patient via a nasal mask, the patient breaths oxygen throughout the procedure to avoid the patient to inhale any mercury vapor or amalgam particles.
  • Hair/head and body coverings are utilized.
  • Once removal of the amalgam is complete, the patient will rinse with a slurry of activated charcoal, absorbent.
  • The amalgam is removed in a single large piece as we use thin drills to separate the tooth from the filling so we don’t actually “drill” the amalgam that reduces the heat and mercury vapor.

The amalgam is safely disposed in mercury-contaminated components, clothing, equipment and conduct a thorough cleaning of the surfaces of the room and flooring in the dental office. After the amalgam removal the teeth are treated immediately using Bio-Compatible materials such as BPA and HEMA free dental fillings (you can read more here (please link to the page about the bio compatible restorations) or metal free, ceramic inlays or crowns.

There is no special diet suggestions on the day of the removal.

Plenty of fluids should be consumed during the day.

In the days after the amalgam removal a special diet is recommended. Patients are advised to avoid diary, processed foods, refined sugars, lots of caffeine.

Patients are encouraged to consume mainly healthy fats, plenty of vegetables, take lots of sun in and prioritize sleep. All these factors will beneficially influence the recovery after the amalgam removal.

Chlorella is a natural supplement that actively helps the body detoxify. It is made out of fresh water algae and is the plant that contains the most chlorophyll.

It is also advisable to consume a diet rich in cilantro and garlic – powerful plants that assists the body in the detox process.

Additional steps might be necessary, such as a specific heavy metals detox protocol under a specialist’s supervision.

The key factor in dental amalgam is either avoid placing it or, ensuring a safe removal.

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