You would probably recognize dental amalgams as the silver fillings that cap your teeth. They are essentially the material used to fill the cavities we get due to tooth decay. It’s been used to fill cavities for more than a hundred years on millions of patients around the world.
Yet, in recent years it has spread concern among people due to its metal composition containing mercury. Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals consisting of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50 percent of this mixture, is what binds the metals together to provide a strong, hard and durable filling.
In the past amalgam fillings were thought to be chemically inactive, meaning that no mercury was released once the filling was placed in the tooth. In recent years however, more sophisticated tests have shown that small amounts of mercury in the form of vapour is released as the filling wears off.
What are the risks of exposed mercury in dental amalgams?
The biggest problem regarding mercury fillings is virtually any kind of stimulation can cause these fillings to release mercury including eating, drinking, brushing your teeth, grinding your teeth and chewing gum.
Mercury vapour from the amalgams passes readily through cell membranes, across the blood-brain barrier and into your central nervous system, where it causes immunological, neurological, and even psychological problems.
Some of the symptoms you may face include chronic headaches, mood swings, back pain, joint aches and digestive problems, to name a few.
What is the significance of a safe amalgam removal?
With some of these symptoms leading to distress and concern, more individuals request for the removal of their amalgam for less toxic alternatives. However, if the right measures are not taken, these fillings when removed might further expose you to significant amounts of mercury.
Thus, it is imperative to opt for a safe protocol to replace the silver mercury filling, designed to minimize your exposure to toxic particles. It is important to view your teeth and gums as an integrated part of your entire body, and any treatment should be performed to resolve your dental problems while working in harmony with the rest of your body.
During removal, drilling out an amalgam filling generates a tremendous amount of heat, causing a dramatic increase in the release of mercury as both vapour and amalgam particles. Cooling the filling with water and air while drilling reduces the amount of vapour the filling releases. This along with using high-volume evacuators with a powerful suction, rubber dams which isolate the tooth or teeth being worked on and immediately disposing the filling particles-are just a few steps that can dramatically reduce the absorption of either vapour or particles into the body.
What are the alternative materials that can be used?
Composite resin fillings are the most common alternative to dental amalgam. They are more popularly used these days owing to their “tooth-coloured” appearance, as compared to the jarring silver colour of amalgams. The colour of composite resins can be customized to closely match and blend with your surrounding teeth. It is also recommended as it requires minimal removal of healthy tooth structure for placement.
There are amalgams that now contain indium. Indium helps retain the mercury so that less of it is released into the environment. There are also high-copper amalgams which contain less mercury and more copper.
Other materials like porcelain and gold are also used as fillings.
Get mercury free with Euromed
If you are suffering from chronic symptoms due to dental amalgams, Dr. Sofia Aravopoulou can provide the relief you are seeking! Always providing top quality dental care, Dr. Sofia is one of the best dentists in Dubai. She uses “Amalgam Safe Removal Protocol” that is designed to protect you, leaving not only healthy teeth but a healthy body overall.
Here’s a personal anecdote shared by one of her own patients who had a positive life changing experience as she opted for amalgam removal with Dr. Sofia: Letter to my Doctor
If your dental amalgam is also causing worry regarding mercury levels in your body, we suggest a check up with Dr. Hoda Makkawi. After being awarded the Top Rated Doctor Award in 2010 in the US, Dr Hoda focuses on healing with a holistic approach bringing together traditional family medicine and energy healing. Dr. Hoda will provide the consultation and tests to ensure that your overall health is intact so you can live a healthy life!