Amalgam fillings, the silver fillings that contain mercury, have been a controversial subject for quite some time now. We all know that high levels of mercury can damage our health, but for years it seemed that people didn’t think amalgam fillings posed any threat. That outlook is slowly but surely changing. These fillings have been attributed to serious health conditions, which is why more and more dentists are advocating for mercury fillings removal. That includes Dr. Imm of All Smiles Care.
The Health Concerns: Why Mercury Dental Fillings Are Causing Such Alarm
Many dental informational sources, including Natural Health 353, have been reporting more and more about the dangers of amalgam fillings. According to these sources, at least 30 health conditions can be attributed to the mercury in dental fillings. That number is alarming, but, in our opinion, even one chronic health condition from a dental product is too much.
It is one thing to say silver amalgam fillings are harmful, it’s quite another to prove it. That’s why we wanted to share with our readers some of the harmful effects of mercury. This information proves why more dentists than ever before have stopped using amalgam fillings.
- Mercury Is Toxic – Period: Many people are aware that mercury is a neurotoxin and can contribute to various diseases, including chronic illnesses. What many people aren’t aware of is that amalgam fillings are made up of 50 percent mercury. That’s a lot of mercury! It’s no wonder that dentists are concerned, especially for patients who have a large number of amalgam fillings.
- Amalgam Fillings Can Lead to Chronic Diseases: Doctor Joseph Mercola, a natural health physician, wrote about the adverse effects of amalgam fillings in 2012. He mentions how mercury is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and travel into the central nervous system. That’s right – a toxic substance can travel from the mouth to the brain and throughout the body. The results are neurological disorders, as well as psychological and behavioral issues. Even the immune system is compromised.
Some of the serious and sometimes chronic conditions that have been correlated with amalgam include: MS, migraines, thyroid disorders, depression, schizophrenia, anger, confusion, anxiety, vertigo, cancer, reproductive disorders and diseases, respiratory diseases, and diseases of the genitourinary system. Some patients have even shown an increase in sensitivities and allergies, while others have become more resistant to antibiotics.
- Mercury Vapors Are Unsafe: Some studies show that mercury levels in dental offices are often at unsafe levels, making the environment unsafe for patients and dental staff alike. Additionally, patients with amalgam fillings can easily release mercury vapors – thus exposing themselves to even higher mercury levels – by doing something as simple as chewing gum or drinking carbonated beverages.
- The US Food & Drug Administration Warns against Mercury Fillings: In 2010, the USDA warned dentists against placing amalgam fillings in the teeth of those who were vulnerable to the effects of mercury. These include children, pregnant women, highly sensitive patients, and those with kidney disease. Not only that, but at least 47 European countries have already passed resolutions to reduce or eliminate the use of amalgam fillings. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway have banned mercury fillings outright.
Porcelain & Composite Fillings: A Wonderful Option to Mercury Fillings
What options do patients have if they decide to remove their dental fillings? Westminster patients have a number of options. Two of them – porcelain and composite fillings – are extremely popular amongst our patients. Why?
- Porcelain Fillings: Simply put: porcelain fillings are absolutely beautiful. The shade of the porcelain can be matched almost perfectly to the patient’s natural shade. In fact, before we even begin this procedure, we will do a custom shade check. Then, we carefully remove the old amalgam fillings using a rubber dam so that our patients are less likely to ingest any of the amalgam pieces. Once the filling has been removed, we check for decay, and then prepare the tooth for the custom porcelain filling.
An impression is taken and sent to the lab for fabrication. In the time that we’re waiting for the custom filling to be made, we make a temporary, tooth-colored filling for our patients. When their filling comes back from the lab, we check the fit and then cement the filling into the tooth. Porcelain fillings are a really long-lasting solution.
- Composite Fillings: When our patients choose composite fillings, the beginning of the procedure is essentially the same. We remove the amalgam filling using a dental dam, check for decay, and then proceed with filling the tooth. Our composite filling kits come with multiple shades, so we can find one that matches the natural tooth color of our patient’s teeth.
Once the color has been selected, we prime the tooth, add the adhesive, and then place the composite. These fillings start out soft so that we can easily place and shape them. After we’ve done that, we light-cure the filling with an ultraviolet light which makes the filling hard. When we’re finished, we check the bite, make adjustments, and then polish the filling. In most cases, our patients can’t tell the difference between the filling and their tooth.
What do our patients love about porcelain and composite fillings? They love that they look beautiful and that they’re a healthier option than old, highly-toxic amalgam fillings.
Lovely Dental Fillings: Westminster Patients Love Their New White Fillings
When it comes to dental fillings, Westminster patients prefer porcelain and composite fillings to the old silver amalgam fillings. Not only are more patients concerned about the damage that mercury fillings can cause, they’re concerned about aesthetics as well. The best solution for both of these issues is white fillings. They can be beautifully matched to the natural color of your teeth, and they are a much safer alternative to mercury. If you’re interested in a lovely, natural looking smile and in protecting your health we highly recommend that you consider a mercury fillings removal procedure. We’re positive you’ll be happy with the results!