Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, have been used by dentists for many years to repair cavities. However, recent studies have raised concerns about the potential health risks associated with these fillings, particularly due to their high mercury content. This article will explore the importance of removing leaky amalgam fillings for your overall health and well-being. We will discuss the dangers of amalgam fillings, the potential health risks associated with mercury exposure, and the safe removal process.
Understanding Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam fillings are composed of a mixture of metals, including mercury, silver, tin, copper, and zinc. Despite their name, these fillings are not predominantly made of silver; they actually contain approximately 50% mercury. When amalgam fillings are placed in the mouth, they continuously release small amounts of mercury vapour, which can be absorbed by the body through various activities such as eating, drinking, and brushing teeth.
The Dangers of Mercury
Mercury is a highly toxic element and is considered the most toxic non-radioactive on Earth. Exposure to high levels of mercury has been linked to various health issues, including autoimmune disorders, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, reproductive dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, it is crucial to minimise exposure to mercury, especially when it comes to dental fillings.
Potential Health Risks of Amalgam Fillings
The continuous release of mercury vapour from amalgam fillings can lead to chronic mercury poisoning over time. Mercury can accumulate in body tissues and organs, causing a range of symptoms such as irritability, lack of concentration, anxiety, muscle pain, tremors, insomnia, headaches, and nerve damage. Long-term exposure to mercury can also affect kidney function, respiratory health, and gastrointestinal health.
Apart from the potential health risks to individuals, amalgam fillings also pose an environmental concern. Dental amalgam, which contains mercury, is classified as hazardous waste. Improper disposal of amalgam waste can contaminate water sources and harm aquatic life. Therefore, it is essential to choose alternative filling materials that are more environmentally friendly.
Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings
If you have existing amalgam fillings and are concerned about their potential health risks, it is advisable to consult with a holistic or biological dentist who specialises in safe amalgam removal. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) has established guidelines for safely removing mercury-containing fillings, known as the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART).
The SMART Protocol
The Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART) involves several precautionary measures to minimise exposure to mercury during the removal process. These measures include:
- Isolation and Protection: The dentist uses rubber dams and high-volume suction to isolate the tooth being treated and prevent mercury particles from being swallowed or inhaled.
- Protective Attire: The dental team wears protective clothing, including gloves, masks, and goggles, to prevent direct contact with mercury and minimise inhalation of mercury vapour.
- Air Filtration: The dental office is equipped with high-efficiency air filtration systems to remove mercury vapour and particles from the air, ensuring a safe environment for both patients and dental staff.
- Proper Disposal: Amalgam waste, including removed fillings, is collected and disposed of in accordance with regulations to prevent environmental contamination.
Benefits of Removing Leaky Amalgam Fillings
Reduced Mercury Exposure
By removing leaky amalgam fillings, you can significantly reduce your exposure to mercury vapour and minimise the associated health risks. This is particularly important for individuals already experiencing mercury toxicity symptoms or have underlying health conditions that may be exacerbated by mercury exposure.
Improved Overall Health
Removing leaky amalgam fillings can improve your overall health and wellbeing. Mercury toxicity has been linked to various systemic health issues, including neurological disorders, autoimmune conditions, and reproductive dysfunction. By eliminating the potential source of mercury exposure, you can support your body’s natural detoxification processes and promote better overall health.
Aesthetics and Functionality
In addition to the health benefits, replacing amalgam fillings with biocompatible alternatives can enhance the aesthetics of your smile. Amalgam fillings are highly noticeable, especially when smiling or laughing, whereas tooth-coloured alternatives blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. Moreover, modern composite fillings offer better durability and functionality compared to amalgam fillings, ensuring long-lasting results.
Choosing a Holistic Dentist
When considering the removal of leaky amalgam fillings, it is essential to choose a holistic dentist who specialises in biocompatible dentistry and follows the proper protocols for safe removal. Holistic dentists focus on their patients’ overall health and wellbeing, considering the potential impact of dental materials and treatments on systemic health.
Removing leaky amalgam fillings is crucial for protecting your overall health and wellbeing. Mercury, a highly toxic element found in amalgam fillings, can pose significant health risks when continuously released into the body. By consulting with a holistic dentist and following the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART), you can minimise your exposure to mercury and support your body’s natural detoxification processes. Ultimately, replacing amalgam fillings with biocompatible alternatives not only improves your oral health but also contributes to your overall well-being. We can assist with a natural detoxification protocol to help you through this process; contact us.