Dental amalgams first came into widespread use as a filling material in the mid 1800s. Since then it enjoyed ongoing support from the dental professional community in general. It is called a dental “amalgam” as it is combination of silver, tin and copper with at least 50% mercury. For more than 150 years it remained the filling of choice for back teeth as it was the only suitable material at the time apart from gold fillings.
From the mid 1990s, white resin materials have become a more suitable material than amalgam to fill small to moderately sized fillings. Apart from their tooth-coloured appearance, resin fillings have health advantage of being mercury-free and are able to bond to a person’s tooth.
There is currently a trend amongst consumer health groups and some dental professional organisations world-wide to encourage the use of non-amalgam fillings as a healthier option for patients. Amalgam fillings are no longer used or recommended for pregnant women or children.
Further discussion on the health effects of mercury and other metals in the mouth can be found in my blog, Mouths Made of Metal. How do you know if you are being affected my amalgam or sensitive to other metals in your mouth? There are various known ways to test metal allergies such as skin “scratch test” or live blood testing. Other methods that have proven reliable include neural testing.
You need to protect yourself against further exposure to mercury if your amalgam fillings are cracked or in need of replacement. We take several precautions to protect your health including:
1) Rubber dam isolation, whenever possible to prevent ingestion or absorption of amalgam particles.
2) High velocity mercury filtration system to prevent inhalation of mercury vapour.
3) The inhalation of medical-grade oxygen during the procedure.
The picture to the left shows a patient protected with the use of rubber dam to prevent ingestion of amalgam particles. We also use the IQ Air mercury filtration system as well as medical-grade oxygen (not shown in this picture)
Many of our patients also choose to have a detox cleanse prior to the amalgam fillings being removed with a natural chelating agent or immediately after they are removed. Your individual health issues will be reviewed and a plan for their removal will be discussed with you prior to their removal. We believe that when it comes to your health, nothing, including the removal of heavy metals should further compromise it.