Mercury Removal in Dentistry
Science has long regarded mercury as a toxic substance. In fact, while mercury was previously used routinely in many of the items we used every day, such as in medical thermometers, modern understanding has put a stop to this. What we once considered innocuous and interesting is now understood to be dangerous. Those who grew up in Alberta in the 1950s and 60s may even recall being handed a ball of mercury to play with in science class – without any protective measures like gloves and ventilation! These days, we understand that mercury does not have a place in modern dentistry. Still, amalgam fillings (silver fillings) currently contain approximately 50% mercury. This is of concern to many of our informed patients, and many seek mercury removal and filling replacement as a result. Since mercury’s toxicity comes in the form of vapour as well as from contact, steps are required to ensure that it is not handled and that its vapours are not inhaled.
Since mercury containing fillings emit a toxic vapour when they are installed in the mouth it’s understandable that drilling and removing the mercury will disturb it and result in increased toxic vapour release. For this reason, we take mercury removal seriously and take all steps to ensure as little exposure to this harmful neurotoxin as possible, for the benefit of patients and practitioners alike.
Our approach to mercury fillings ensures that dental dams and ventilation is utilized, and our practitioners have a number of complimentary suggestions including vitamin C and naturopathic care to detoxify the body once the amalgam filling has been removed and replaced with a non-mercury emitting substance. If you are concerned about your health with amalgam fillings, you may benefit from having the amalgam removed and replaced with a reliable and non-toxic alternative.
There is no way to ignore the mountains of evidence that show us the potential dangers of mercury (Hg). This naturally occurring element is one of the most toxic found on earth. Many countries have taken notice, removing mercury from various products such as standard thermometers. It is interesting that, facing all of the current data against mercury use; conventional dentistry continues to use this substance in men, women, and children regularly.
Many people do not realize that the “silver” fillings placed by their dentist even contain mercury, let alone the amount of mercury in each filling. An amalgam filling has at least a 50 percent mercury content, a statistic that California dentists are now required to disclose to their patients, thanks to Prop 65. A holistic dentist is one who understands the immediate and long-term danger of mercury exposure.
We do not use dental amalgam to repair cavities. He also understands the importance of safe mercury removal.
Many dentists today may offer the removal of mercury fillings. There is a great advantage to receiving treatment from a holistic dentist. There are precautions that must be taken to avoid the excessive exposure to mercury during the removal process. Simply removing a filling without these precautions places the patient, dentist, and staff at risk.
The issue with mercury is that this substance vaporizes. This is how the body becomes poisoned. If an undisturbed amalgam filling emits mercury vapor, then the drilling of a filling will produce excessive amounts. Drilling on an amalgam filling releases mercury particles so tiny that they are easily breathed deep into the lungs.
Recognizing mercury as a dangerous neurotoxin, your holistic dentist will not simply drill out an amalgam filling. To minimize exposure, We use a special protocol that involves the placement of a rubber dam around the tooth, isolating particles and keeping them from reaching any other part of the mouth. As amalgam fillings are being removed, patients breathe oxygen through a comfortable nasal cannula, and high-volume suction is used to remove any particles immediately as the filling is carefully removed. In the treatment room, protection from exposure in increased with the use of an Ion Scavenger.
We also recommends vitamin C as an added defense against mercury exposure. To ensure a restful, productive experience, oral conscious sedation is offered to patients to help them feel relaxed during their treatment. Following the removal of amalgam fillings, recommendations for detoxification, or a referral to a naturopathic care provider may be made.
The protocol followed at the MacEwan Dental Clinic is intended to minimize the exposure to mercury during the filling removal process. Mercury is a neurotoxin that accumulates in the body. Follow up with a specific detoxification regimen is also suggested, together with a detailed before treatment.