DENTAL AMALGAM REMOVAL
What is dental amalgam?
Dental amalgam is a mixture of metal alloy and liquid mercury. It has been used to fill cavities for over 100 years. (see history of amalgam below). It is sometimes referred to as: silver filling or mercury filling. The main component of the material is 50% mercury which is the 5th most poisonous, non-radioactive metal on the planet!
Its dental amalgam harmful?
In 1991, the World Health Organization (WHO) 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”.
Mercury may be the cause of 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.
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
Why is mercury used in dental amalgam?
Mercury has a unique ability to bind to other metals very easily. It also is at liquid form at room temperature and can be easy to form into the desired shape. Mixed with other metals it becomes very hard and sticks well to the tooth enamel.
When is dental amalgam most dangerous?
When the mercury vapor is released is when the dental amalgam is at the most dangerous point as this can be breathed into the lungs. These stages are when amalgam is:
- Placed as a dental filling – during this process, the mercury is mixed with the metals alloy and applied into the dental cavity, hence releasing mercury vapor.
- During a tooth 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 high levels of mercury vapor.
Micro-doses of mercury vapor are also released from amalgam fillings when eating or drinking hot foods and during dental cleanings. (Any situation where heat is involved).
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.
How does mercury enter the blood stream?
The mercury vapor released from dental amalgam fillings enters into the lungs. From here 80% is absorbed into the blood stream. Elemental mercury from amalgam fillings can also pass down the throat into the stomach every time you swallow where some is converted to methylmercury which is then absorbed into the blood stream.
Other issues associated with dental amalgam.
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 which are very uncomfortable lesions in the mouth. Alopecia is another common condition. The severity of alopecia has been directly related to the number of amalgam fillings – the higher the number of silver fillings – the more severe the condition.
Are dental amalgam fillings still being used?
Currently, mercury fillings are still widely used around the world, with statistically 50% of all fillings placed being of dental amalgam.
While mercury fillings are still deemed “safe” by major international dental organization, a rising body of scientific research proves otherwise.
Other adverse effects of dental amalgam use.
Mercury from dental amalgam also has a huge environmental footprint. For example, according to a report submitted to the OSPAR Commission, in the United Kingdom, 7.41 tons of mercury from dental amalgam are discharged annually into the sewer, atmosphere or land, with another 11.5 tones sent for recycling.
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. (For more information read here: http://www.bwaste.com/amalgam-affects-the-environment/)
Must I remove dental amalgam?
When comparing the literature on dental amalgam, there is a mix in opinions for its removal. However, there are undisputed facts that dental amalgam fillings do raise the levels of mercury in our bodies and are one of the primary sources of mercury that we encounter in our environment.
For people with metal fillings, the daily release of mercury is approximately 4-5 μg/day, and the more amalgam fillings, the more mercury that is released. By contrast, mercury levels are reduced substantially when amalgams are removed.
The presence of mercury in fillings only adds to our toxic “load” that we are faced with every day in our ever-increasing chemical environment and some bodies handle it better than others.
The most profound evidence in the research of amalgam removal is that patients generally feel better after the procedure. This is definitely strong evidence that the mercury has affects on the body.
What is the safest way to remove dental amalgam fillings?
Because if Mercury’s high toxicity – many layers of protection are needed to safely remove the silver fillings.
At Dr. Roze & Associates dental clinic, wee have researched the best practices around the world and have adopted the SMART protocol designed by IAOMT (The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology).
Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique.
The special protection measures of the SMART protocol have all been adopted by Dr. Roze & Associates with extreme care and attention to detail:
- 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 that cannot be penetrated by mercury vapor.
- 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 inhaling any mercury vapor or amalgam particles.
- Hair/head and body coverings are utilised.
- Once removal of the amalgam is complete, the patient will rinse with a slurry of activated, absorbent charcoal to collect any particles.
- 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, thus reducing contact, heat and mercury vapor.
- The amalgam is safely disposed in mercury-contaminated containers.
- Clothing, equipment and all surfaces and flooring are thoroughly cleaned with special removal chemicals.
What can I expect after dental amalgam removal?
After the amalgam fillings are removal, the teeth are treated immediately using Bio-Compatible materials such as BPA-free (for more information read here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5039892/) and HEMA-free (https://www.nationalelfservice.net/dentistry/restorative-dentistry/dental-adhesive-systems-hema-free-hema-containing-systems/) dental fillings or metal free, ceramic inlays or crowns.
Following the procedure, patients are reminded to:
- Drink plenty of fluids during the day
- Avoid diary, processed foods, refined sugars, lots of caffeine
- Consume mainly healthy fats, plenty of vegetables
- Take lots of sun for Vitamin D
- Get lots of sleep
- Try Chlorella which is a natural supplement that actively helps the body to detoxify. It is made of freshwater algae and is the plant that contains large amounts of chlorophyll.
- You may also want to try a diet rich in cilantro and garlic which are powerful plants that assist the body in the detox process.
- Depending on the amount of dental amalgam that has been removed, additional steps may be necessary, such as a specific heavy metals detox protocol, which will be advised by your specialist.
Is it painful to remove dental amalgam fillings?
The actual removal of the amalgam filling is similar to having a regular filling or cavity treated (along with all the safety protocols). Local anaesthesia is used to “freeze” the tooth so no pain is involved.
Is it expensive to remove dental amalgam fillings?
Removing an amalgam filling and replacing it with a safer material is comparable in price to a regular filling, however, this may vary from patient to patient.
How long does it take to remove dental amalgam fillings?
Most appointments are around 60-90 minutes in duration. Even though the protocols for mercury removal are very strict, it procedure does not take much more time than a regular filling.
Why should I do my dental amalgam removals at Dr. Roze & Associates dental clinic?
Good health begins in the mouth and this is why biodental practices exist. The dangers that are associated with amalgam fillings along with the concerns regarding toxins that are frequently used in oral care materials have made it necessary to consider other ways to handle dentistry.
At Dr. Roze & Associates, we have taken great care to ensure that you and your body, are safe, happy, relaxed and in control. We have a well-established procedure for amalgam filling removals as well as a personalised removal and detoxification program to match your health requirements. And we take care to safeguard environmentally-friendly procedures take place in disposing of the mercury product.
History of Dental Amalgam Use:
1819: A Mercury-based dental amalgam filling was invented by the English chemist, Bell.
1826: The dental amalgam mercury filling was first used in England and France.
1830: Amalgam fillings were used in the United States. Numerous harmful effects were soon widely reported.
1840: The American Society of Dental Surgeons denounced the use of amalgams due to concerns about mercury poisoning. Members of the society were required to pledge to avoid the mercury amalgam fillings. But many dentists continued using amalgams, since they were cheaper, faster and easier to place than gold materials.
1859: The pro-mercury amalgam faction in America formed its own dental society, first called the National Dental Association; it was later re-named the American Dental Association (ADA).
1926: A prominent German chemist, Alfred Stock, discovered that mercury was the source of his own health problems. After having his own amalgams removed, Stock then studied the health problems of many of his friends and advised them to have their amalgams removed. He studied the release of mercury vapor from the amalgams and published his findings in over thirty scientific papers. Stock led an international movement to halt the use of mercury amalgam filling.
1930s: Stock’s laboratory and most of his records were destroyed in a World War II bombing raid, halting the antiamalgam movement had spearheaded.
1957: Dr. Karl O. Frykholm of Sweden published a study incorrectly claiming that when saliva covers an amalgam> filling, the mercury is no longer released. Since then, the ADA began to cite Frykholm’s paper as proof that amalgam fillings are stable and safe.
1973: An American dentist suffering from MS, Hal Huggins, DDS, MS, met a Brazilian dentist, Olympia Pinto, at a conference in Mexico City. Pinto shocked Higgins by telling him that amalgam fillings are unstable and mercury from amalgams can trigger illness like Hodgkin’s disease and sickle cell anemia. Eventually Dr. Pinto sent Dr. Huggins many studies on amalgam research. Huggins, avidly learned about the amalgam health issue and became a noted speaker and writer on the hazards of amalgams.
1979: Measurable Mercury coming from amalgam. Gay and others at the University of Iowa reported a measurable release of mercury vapor from amalgam fillings; when the amalgams were stimulated by chewing, brushing or hot beverages the release was far greater. In 1981 Svare, at Ohio State, confirmed Gay’s findings.
1987: In Sweden, Nylander, Friberg and Lind published a study of mercury levels in the brains of people who died of sudden, unexpected death. Mercury levels in the occipital lobe brain cortex correlated significantly with the number of amalgam fillings in the person’s mouth.
1987: Nylander of Sweden and Eggleston of California, did a similar autopsy study on victims of sudden, unexpected death, confirming a strong correlation between brain levels of mercury and the number of amalgam filling surfaces in teeth.
1989: Dentists Poisoned. Nylander and Friberg publish an autopsy study showing that mercury levels were much higher in the pituitary glands (in the head) and the thyroid glands of dental staff as compared to a non-dentist control group. The mercury levels in the pituitary glands of the dental group was about forty times higher than that of a controls. Other studies proved dentists to have a higher rate of irritability, depression and mood disorders. Dentists have a six-fold higher rate of suicide than other white collar professionals.
1990: Lorscheider and Vimy at the University of Calgary School of Medicine placed amalgam fillings with radioactive mercury into pregnant sheep and monkeys. After just 29 days after the placement of the mercury amalgams, the mercury was traced and found in the kidneys, the liver, the gastrointestinal tract, the brain, and many other parts of the body including the unborn fetus. For both the mother and the fetus, the highest mercury level was in the pituitary gland, suggesting an amalgam mercury role in depression and mood disorders.
1983: University of Calgary research dentist Murray Vimy, joined with Michael Ziff, and American dentist and author, to found the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) to educate dentists and other professionals about evidence based dentistry. With his father, Sam Ziff, Michael Ziff went on to author books on mercury free dentistry, dental mercury detox, and other related issues.
1988: DAMS groups began forming in Albuquerque, Denver, Chicago and elsewhere to educate the public.
DECEMBER 16, 1990: The CBS television show Sixty Minutes, hosted by Morley Safer, and viewed by 30 million Americans, did an expose on the hazards of mercury amalgams; the host interviewed scientists Lars Friberg, Fritz Lorscheider, Murray Vimy and Boyd Haley. The program even exposed the biased attacks by state dental licensing boards on mercury free, holistic dentists. The ADA spokesmen squirmed under the pointed questions of the host.
1993: Its All in Your Head, by Hal Huggins began making further headway in expanding public awareness of the amalgam mercury problem.
1993: Anne Sommers, Ph.D., a microbiologist, reported that the placement of mercury amalgam fillings in monkeys and in humans causes a major shift in kinds of bacteria found in intestines. Through natural selection, some bacteria survive the mercury poison and are mercury resistant. Interestingly, the mercury resistant were found to have become antibiotic resistant; Sommers concluded that amalgams tend to produce more anti-biotic resistant bacteria.
1993, DECEMBER: The largest German manufacturer of amalgam, Degussa AG, stopped making amalgam.
1994: Sweden announced phase out of amalgam fillings, starting with pregnant women and children.
1994: Lorscheider, Vimy, Pendergrass and Haley reported that elemental mercury vapor from amalgam fillings is toxic to brain neurons. Low-dose mercury causes the neurofibrillary tangles in the brain – regarded as a key marker of Alzheimer’s disease.
1994: A human autopsy study on babies who had died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) was published by Drasch and others at the University of Munich in Germany. Drasch found a strong correlation between the mercury levels in the brains and kidneys of the babies and the number of amalgam fillings in the mother’s teeth. These findings were confirmed by another autopsy study conducted in the 1996 by Lutz. These studies showed that mercury from a mother’s mercury amalgam fillings is typically the major source of mercury for her unborn child. The German government then acted to curb the use of amalgams in children and women of child bearing age.
1995: G. Mark Richardson, Ph.D., released a report for Health Canada, Canada’s chief health regulatory body, on mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings. He found that amalgams contribute about 50% or more of an adult’s mercury exposure and present an unacceptable hazard. Richardson advised Health Canada to ban dental amalgams; Health Canada did not go that far but in 1996 it established guidelines for dentists discouraging the use of amalgams in children, pregnant women, people with kidney disorders and other vulnerable people.
Why Dr. Roze & Associates Dental Clinic?
We at Dr. Roze & Associates don’t just focus on fixing teeth, but on your overall health as well. We work to help you create a balance between your oral health and your overall health.
We believe that many tooth extractions are not necessary and opt to save the tooth and reduce your body’s trauma whenever possible. Our core belief is that health should never be compromised.