So, you’ve done some research and are considering having your mercury fillings replaced with a healthier, more esthetic alternative. If you’re like most people, your research has generated more questions than answers.
Why should I have my mercury fillings replaced?
Our recommendation is that you never allow another mercury amalgam filling to be placed in your mouth—of course that would never happen in our office. The decision to replace mercury fillings that are already in your mouth should be carefully considered. There are many reasons to consider the replacement of your existing amalgam fillings:
- Many people come to us because their physician believes that heavy metals, including mercury, are making them sick and keeping them from getting better. These people are commonly stuck in their illness. They don’t improve even though they are doing all the right things . . . they are seeing excellent physicians, they are receiving exceptional treatments, they are following the prescribed treatments to the letter. Despite their hard work, they are still sick. These people are tired, frustrated, scared and just plain sick of being sick. Many doctors understand that mercury can not only make your sick, but also keep you sick . . . it can block the body’s ability to heal. When people are stuck in their illness, often the mercury leaking from their fillings is the obstacle preventing them from getting better. Once the mercury is removed from their mouth and body, treatments begin to work as expected . . . they begin the process of healing.
- Some people seek us out requesting mercury amalgam filling replacement because they understand that mercury is leaking from their fillings, being stored in their body and may cause disease. They are taking a proactive approach so they don’t end up like the people described above.
- Still others understand that mercury amalgam is an obsolete material. They have learned that these fillings will eventually damage the underlying tooth structure and have elected to replace them with modern materials before irreversible tooth damage has occurred.
No one can promise that by replacing your amalgam fillings you will experience any specific health benefit, however, many of our patients report they have experienced significant, positive health changes after safe and effective mercury filling replacement. I can guarantee this . . . updating your mercury fillings with modern biocompatible materials will reduce your body burden of a known toxic material and help prevent the eventual tooth-related damage caused by amalgam silver fillings.
See the movie below showing how mercury causes brain cell degeneration. You won’t believe your eyes!
In this next movie, you will see mercury vapor pouring out of a 30-year-old mercury filling.
What is the correct way to replace mercury silver fillings?
We all know by now that the term “silver filling” is a euphemism . . . they are silver in color only and actually contain 50% mercury.
During the removal of “silver fillings”, the mercury component of the filling is vaporized. If the removal process is done improperly, you can be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury vapor . . . an important point that is often overlooked by dentists who are not committed to mercury-safe dentistry.
We have developed a mercury-safe protocol that provides 9 layers of protection between you and the mercury in your fillings. These steps have been proven to greatly reduce your exposure to mercury vapor during amalgam filling removal:
- Keep the fillings cool—remove fillings under copious amounts of cold water spray to minimize the heat-induced release of mercury vapor from the fillings. To ensure the fillings stay cool, we use dental drills that spray water from 3 ports rather than the standard single port.
- Section and remove the filling in large pieces.
- Use a CleanUp™ suction aspirator to evacuate mercury vapor as it is released.
- Provide an alternative clean air source. All patients having amalgam removed are provided with oxygen delivered through a nasal hood.
- Use a nitrile, non-latex, rubber dam. A rubber dam is a shield placed over the mouth to prevent breathing or swallowing amalgam particles or mercury vapors while having the amalgam removed from the tooth. All fragments are immediately rinsed with cell wall lysed Chlorella as the procedure is being done.
- Rinse with cell wall lysed Chlorella after the nitrile rubber dam is removed immediately following the procedure to bind and eliminate any mercury vapors that do pass through the nitrile rubber dam during the procedure.
- Keep the room air pure. You would be alarmed at the amount of mercury vapor in the air of a typical dental office. It enters the air each time a mercury amalgam filling is placed into a tooth or removed from a tooth. Our dental office is equipped with a state-of-the-art clean air system that collects any mercury vapor that escapes into the air during amalgam filling removal.
Your first layer of protection against mercury vapor is a powerful central room air ionizer from American Environmental Systems. This system creates a 10-foot bubble of negatively ionized air. All mercury vapors within that ionized bubble take on a negative charge and are then attracted to positively charged collection plates. As an extra precaution, we also use the DentalAirVac air filtration system. The flexible arm of this powerful vacuum is placed near your mouth to capture mercury vapor and other particulates.
These two technologies have been shown to reduce airborne mercury vapor, as well as all other contaminants produced during dental procedures, to insignificantly low levels.
To ensure the dental environment remain mercury-free we regularly check the mercury levels in our office with a Jerome Mercury Analyzer, the most respected in the environmental mercury analysis industry.
Who should perform the work?
Safe and effective mercury amalgam replacement is more complex than traditional metal based dentistry. It involves two critical steps, neither of which are adequately taught in dental school:
- Safely remove the filling to avoid mercury exposure during the process
(see above paragraph)
- Effectively restore the tooth with metal-free, bonded composite resin or porcelain
Choosing a dentist who will provide safe and effective mercury filling replacement involves finding someone who has received extensive post-dental school training. If you decide to replace your mercury amalgam fillings, have it done by a dentist who is experienced and committed to both mercury-free and mercury-safe dentistry.
When interviewing a prospective dentist, you might ask:
- Do you ever place mercury amalgam fillings?
- Do you have mercury amalgam fillings in your mouth?
- How long have you been a mercury-free dentist?
- What types of precautions do you take can when removing mercury amalgam fillings?
- How much metal-based dentistry do you do?
- How much advanced training have you received in metal-free, bonded dentistry?
- What types of “alternative therapies” have you studied?
Is mercury filling replacement dangerous to my health?
What are the best dental materials to use as replacements?
Composite resin is a metal-free, tooth-colored quartz-like material. It is an excellent restorative material to use when damage to the tooth is small to moderate. We blend shades to create colors nearly identical to the natural tooth. The final restoration is virtually invisible. Composite restorations are more than just attractive. They are environmentally non-toxic and contain no mercury. In addition, composites strengthen the remaining tooth and help protect it from fracture because they bond directly to the surface of the tooth. When used under these conditions it is a very long-lasting and healthy material to have in your mouth.
We offer DiamondLink, the only BPA-free composite material on the market if that is appropriate for you.
Porcelain is also beautifully tooth-colored, metal-free, mercury-free, and environmentally non-toxic. It is far stronger than composite resin . . . so it is your best choice for long-lasting tooth-colored restorations when the tooth is extensively damaged. Composite resin is simply not strong enough to use under these conditions. Using an amazing and rare computer technology called CEREC, we can produce porcelain restorations in a single visit. Gone are the days when a porcelain restoration required two visits, two doses of anesthetic, and wearing the dreaded temporary for two weeks.
We believe all patients must be treated individually and, if needed, we recommend a Clifford Compatibility test performed to choose the best dental restorative material for you.
Welcome to 21st Century Dentistry!