When I was 12, there was a local dentist who told my Mom I had 11 cavities (I later found out he told everyone that). When he was through, all 8 of my back molars were shiny and bright. I have heard through the years about the impact that mercury fillings (amalgam) can have on your health. Intuitively, I knew I needed to get them replaced, but who goes to the dentist asking to be drilled on? Well, in January I noticed that one of my teeth was chipped (or so I thought). Come to find out, my amalgam was falling apart. After a few google clicks, I found out that most amalgams only last 12 years. I got 35 years out of mine (did I just tell you how old I am? Well you would have to do the math). The three most frequent reasons for failure of amalgam fillings were the amalgam filling itself breaking, tooth decay developing under the filling, and the filled tooth weakening and breaking.
Regardless of whether or not these fillings are safe for the body, there are some mercury amalgam facts that can’t be ignored.
(1)Mercury is a heavy metal that is extremely toxic to humans, and it makes up about 50% of the common amalgam filling.
(2)The amalgam filling has no natural adhesive qualities, so the tooth must be drilled out (removing large amounts of healthy tooth structure) so that the compound can be wedged into place. This in turn has been shown, in some cases, to cause microscopic, hairline cracks in the crystalline structure of the tooth, allowing bacteria, viruses, toxins and other infectious agents to enter the inner structure of the tooth, eventually causing more decay and damage, so that further treatment must be done.
(3)Wedging in an amalgam filling has been shown, in many cases, to distort and weaken the tooth, so that eventually cracks in the tooth structure may appear–again allowing infectious agents into the interior of the tooth.
(4)The amalgam itself can crack, leak, and fail, and even fall out over time, again due to the lack of adhesive qualities.
(5)Amalgams have been shown to discolor and tarnish, over time, causing cosmetic concerns to many patients.
(6)Mercury fillings are softer than normal tooth structure, and many times do not hold up well under all the biting and chewing forces that are placed on the tooth; nor do they help distribute the load of these forces equally through the tooth and into the bone.
(7)Metal-based fillings and restorations have been shown to produce a battery effect in the mouth, caused by mixing with acidic saliva. Measurable voltages caused by amalgams and other mixed-metals combining with saliva in the mouth have been detected and documented. The moisture in the oral area combining with these metals can many times result in a galvanic, or electricity-producing effect. This has been the cause of people actually picking up radio stations in metal-filled or treated teeth, and while it may sound humorous, it actually indicates a potentially serious problem.
These issues alone may be a good reason for having amalgam fillings removed and replaced with less toxic and stronger materials. Some people are concerned with mercury poisoning – common signs of mercury poisoning can be seen on this YouTube Video.
I have done some research in the past about safe practices in the removal of amalgam fillings, so back to google I went and looked up holistic dentists in Utah. I found Dental Solutions in Bountiful, and made my appointment. One month later I am mercury free. I had 6 amalgams replaced (I still have 2 crowns that I am going to get worked on). Some of the major differences that occurred during the removal of my fillings were the dam that was used to prevent any mercury related debri getting ingested, the venting hood to take away mercury vapors and the Vitamin C IV that I received to help counteract any heavy metal toxicity. This isn’t me in the chair, but this is definitely what it looked like – Mercury Removal.
So if you have a bright shiny reflective smile and are considering other options. Take a look at Holistic Dentistry and see if this option is right for you.