The harmful effects of mercury-laden fillings are scary. That’s why our dental practice has been mercury-free for over 10 years.
Mercury is one of the most toxic chemicals and is a neurotoxin. Dental amalgam fillings, also known as mercury fillings, are used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. This material is composed of liquid mercury, silver, tin, and copper powder mixed to form a metal mixture. Later, it is placed into a tooth and carved to shape, and allowed to harden.
Our dental practice understands that this can be a controversial subject. But, if I would not trust this material in my mouth or my children’s mouths, why would I use it on my patients?
10 Reasons Why You Should Remove Mercury Fillings
There are various reasons for removing your mercury fillings. The most compelling argument is that simple acts like brushing your teeth, drinking hot liquids or soda, and teeth-grinding release mercury vapors. Inhaled over time, this can lead to mercury poisoning.
Here are 10 additional motivations for speaking to your dentist about a mercury-free mouth.
- Autoimmunity. Many research studies show that chronic exposure to low levels of mercury the immunocompromised may lead to inflammation and worsen a person’s autoimmune disease.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Although studies linking mercury to Alzheimer’s are currently only observational, the vapors released from mercury can travel to the brain tissue, causing damage.
- Autism Spectrum Disorders. The development of neurological systems in fetuses and young children may experience an increase in sensitivity to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor.
- Fatigue. Because the nervous system is the primary target for chronic mercury exposure, it can cause people to experience chronic exhaustion.
- Headaches, mood swings, and tremors. In some instances, these conditions can be attributed to mercury toxicity.
- Heart disease. Recent studies have found that mercury can accumulate in the heart and can elevate blood pressure, create abnormal heart rhythm, and increase your chance of having a heart attack.
- Insomnia. Heavy metals can disrupt your sleep. Children are more vulnerable to sleep deprivation from low-exposure.
- Kidney problems. Some kidney issues have been linked to chronic exposure to mercury.
- Motor skill dysfunction. Mercury affects the developing brain, causing neurological problems that can manifest into hearing and vision difficulties.
- Personality changes, including anxiety and irritability. Any amount of mercury exposure has the potential to cause emotional distress and changes.
How We Safely Remove Mercury Fillings
Amalgam removal appointments should follow each step of the Mercury Removal Technique or SMART. The following safety measures are in place to ensure mercury fillings are removed properly:
- Each room where mercury fillings are removed should have adequate ventilation and filtration. And, if possible, windows should be open to reducing the mercury concentration in the air.
- The patient should be given a slurry of charcoal chlorella or a similar absorbent to rinse and swallow before the procedure. This helps capture mercury in your mouth or digestive tract.
- Protective gear for all dentists and dental assistants, including non-latex nitrile gloves, face shields, head coverings, and a sealed respiratory mask.
- Protective gear for patients, including a nasal mask to avoid breathing in mercury vapor and non-latex nitrile gloves.
- A saliva ejector will be put under the dental dam to reduce mercury exposure to the patient.
- A non-latex dental dam will be placed and sealed over the patient’s mouth. The dental dam is like a square sheet of material to prevent mercury from going down the throat.
Before coming to their appointments, we recommend patients review the procedure and come with questions. Knowing what to expect and having open lines of communication are key to excellent dentistry.
When You’re Ready
Our mission is to work with everyone to create and achieve the best patient experience in oral health. We are proud to be Western North Carolina’s premier provider of mercury-free and holistic dentistry. When you’re ready for a mercury-free mouth, contact us to schedule an appointment!