The Changing View on Mercury Amalgams
The Changing View on Mercury Amalgams
We are the fifty percent …
About half of all of dentists in the United States have made the choice to stop using amalgam, and its way past time for the other half to follow suit. The fact is that most dentists who continue to use amalgam really don’t believe that amalgam can be harmful to them, their patients or staff. They stick to what they’ve been taught in dental school, choosing not to question the standards for fear of reprisal.
As the number of mercury-free dentists continues to grow, there are more and more dentists who offer a more holistic or “biological” approach to dental care. Therefore it is important that we continue to point out the pitfalls to mercury amalgams, and to urge the other 50 percent to overcome the ignorance that perpetuates its use. Aspiring dentists continue to be taught that the mercury in amalgams is “bound” with the other metals and therefore doesn’t leak, which is why they continue to believe mercury amalgam use is safe. However, by the fact that mercury vapor can be measured as it seeps away from the tip of the root is absolute proof that amalgam fillings can and do leach mercury poisons into the body.
A combination of greed and power has brought about a situation that continues to perpetuate public ignorance on the subject, and as a consequence the Food & Drug Association in partnership with the American Dental Association has for years knowingly concealed the dangers of ‘silver’ amalgam use from the public.
The Mercury and Alzheimer’s Connection
Recent studies of the effects of various toxic heavy metals on the brain, specifically; aluminum, lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury, reveal that the most toxic metal is without a doubt, mercury. Scientific research points to the fact that mercury is the most likely culprit underlying much chronic disease, and something the majority of physicians, including dentists, simply are not educated about. Mercury poisoning can result in a variety of complex and health threatening neurological, immunological, and endocrinological problems. It not only exacerbates inflammation, it also impairs the body’s ability to detoxify itself, causing greater susceptibility to diseases in general. Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases have all been linked to exposure to mercury, and even trace amounts of mercury can cause the type of damage observed in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Scientists and researchers now believe Alzheimer’s impairs communication and coordination between cells. The brain has up to a 100 billion nerve cells called neurons and these neurons make up an intricate network or ‘neural super highway’ that requires a great deal of energy and constant and effective waste removal. These processes require a large amount of fuel and oxygen. Heavy metals such as mercury can seriously impair these necessary neurological processes.
It is thought that mercury becomes an aggravating factor for Alzheimer’s, particularly when present in combination with other heavy metals such as zinc, cadmium and lead; a toxic combination that is always present when Alzheimer’s becomes a factor. In other words, even the smallest amounts of mercury work in partnership with other heavy metals to create damaging effects on the brain. In addition, the reaction of dental amalgam mercury combined with toxic substances produced by periodontal disease bacteria very likely enhances the toxicity of the mercury being released. Ultimately, mercury is much more toxic to individuals who are exposed to other heavy metals.
Choosing to Get an Oral Up-Grade
Though the efforts of organizations such as Consumers for Dental Choice which works to get mercury banned from dentistry worldwide, a growing number of consumers are becoming aware of the dangers of mercury amalgams, and are beginning to realize what a toxic mess they may have in their own mouths. As a result, many people today are looking for ways to reduce the mercury impact on their immune systems by replacing mercury amalgams with a healthier composite. However, it is important to realize that nothing has the potential to release more mercury vapor directly into the body’s sensitive system, than the removal of an amalgam filling. For this reason it is highly important to make sure that your silver fillings are removed by a dentist who has been expertly trained in this procedure. The removal of mercury laced fillings requires careful isolation of the filled tooth from the rest of the oral cavity through the use of a rubber dam. This combined with vacuums providing suction in and around the mouth aimed at capturing mercury while the extraction is taking place, helps to reduce over-exposure during the delicate removal process. But not all dentists are yet aware of how important such safety precautions are when dealing with amalgams.
Because of mercury exposure from amalgam in the workplace, studies now clearly demonstrate that dental workers have elevated systemic mercury levels. Up to this point, few of these dental workers – mostly women of childbearing age – have been given protective gear or filtering masks to minimize exposure to mercury. Due to the persistent misinformation about the dangers of mercury poisoning caused by dental amalgams, many of these people are not even aware of the risks of occupational mercury exposure. As a result, an alarming number of cases having to do with neurological problems, reproductive failures, and birth defects caused by amalgam exposure in the workplace are being reported by dental workers all across the globe.
Amalgam Removal Requires Specific Procedures
Biological dentists are well aware of the dangers presented by a wide range of toxic materials including mercury amalgams. Following a very specific procedure during the removal process will help to keep you (and your dentist) safe by:
- Supplying the patient with an alternative air source along with instructions on how to not to breathe through the mouth during the procedure
- The use of a cold water spray to help minimize toxic mercury vapors
- Installing a rubber dam in the mouth to help the patient avoid swallowing or inhaling any toxins
- Employing a high volume evacuator in the mouth at all times to safely remove the mercury vapor
- Providing instruction on rising the mouth immediately after the fillings have been removed
- Immediately cleaning both the patient’s and the dental workers protective wear once the fillings are removed
- Proficient use of room air purifiers
For a complete description of how to safely remove mercury amalgam, see this PDF created by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).
More information:“The Scientific Case Against Mercury Amalgam.”