Safe Amalgam Removal
Mercury Amalgam Removal
What is Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal?
Safe mercury amalgam removal aims to remove mercury amalgam fillings without exposing the patient to mercury vapour and particles during the procedure. Dental mercury amalgam fillings are a mixture of mercury, tin, copper and silver. They are very cheap to produce and have been used for a long time in dentistry. Mercury amalgam fillings are reliable, durable, resistant to decay and less technique sensitive during placement than more modern composite (white) fillings. Due to the amalgamation process chair side, mercury is largely contained within the filling and so it may not have significant clinical effects.
Why do some people not support mercury amalgam fillings?
It is generally accepted that there is no “safe level” of mercury for the body. Mercury is the second most common cause of acute toxic metal poisoning after arsenic (1) and it is registered as the most toxic substance in the USA (2). For this reason there are very stringent regulations on the use and disposal of mercury and mercury containing waste. Pieces of mercury amalgam filling cut out of your teeth are collected and disposed of as hazardous waste. Many believe that even being exposed to a small amount of mercury is too much, and so many individuals seek removal of their mercury amalgam fillings. It is a well-established fact that mercury is released from amalgam fillings due to chewing, brushing, tooth grinding, hot drinks, drilling and polishing (3-5) Unfortunately, dentists performing mercury amalgam removal and placement suffer more neurological effects compared to the average person (6); and we know that multiple organ systems may be affected by mercury (7). A major problem with mercury is that once it enters the body it is assimilated into the tissues and is extremely difficult to remove or measure. Furthermore, retention of mercury is cumulative over time, and in combination with other toxins, it may lead to toxicity and symptoms. Those who suffer with a sluggish bowel, constipation or poor liver function are more likely to have problems with toxicity due to poor excretion.
Disclaimer* This information should be used as a guide only. Please seek professional dental advice for your individual needs.
We believe that those who have mercury amalgam fillings in their mouth are most certainly exposed to more risk of toxicity than those who do not have mercury fillings. But there are risks associated with dental treatments. The safe mercury amalgam removal procedure is no different. Every time your tooth is drilled, structure is permanently lost and there is a risk of tooth sensitivity and even tooth loss. No filling material can replace natural tooth structure. The risks of elective safe mercury amalgam removal must be considered during a thorough professional consultation with your dentist. At Heal Dental Care, safe mercury amalgam removal limits the chance of ingestion or inhalation of mercury by the patient – you, dentist and dental assistant. Our equipment and special techniques help achieve this. It is our opinion that antioxidants such as Glutathione GSH, and vitamin C, as well as chelating agents such as zinc may help the body to remove mercury from body tissues. We recommend you consider some of these supplements as you proceed through your amalgam removal, unless you are having this aspect of your treatment looked after by a GP or a naturopath. For complex cases we refer to a highly experienced local GP for careful chelation using EDTA and or DMSA while supporting the body with mineral supplements.
1. Curr Probl Pediatr 2000;30:91-99 2. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry www.atsdr.cdc.gov/clist.html 3. Vimy. Intra-oral air mercury released from dental amalgams. J Dent Res 1985;64:1069-1071 4. Barregard. People with high mercury uptake from their own dental amalgam. Occup Envir Med 1995;52:1124-8. 5. Patterson. Mercury in human breath from dental amalgam. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 1985;34:459-468. 6. Ngim. Chronic neurobehavioral effects of elemental mercury in dentists. Br J Indus Med 1992;49:782-90 7. Curr Probl Pediatr 2000;30:91-99
Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal At Heal
Step 1 – Diagnosis and discussion
We provide you with a personal diagnosis and treatment plan that is in line with your health aims. For both elective procedures and necessary treatments we discuss all options, outlining your potential risks as well as perceived benefits.
Step 2 – Preparation
You may opt to use our detox kit with vitamin C, zinc and other supplements prior to the procedure. Alternatively, your GP or naturopath may be assisting with this.
Step 3 – Isolate the tooth
A dental dam (sheet of protective material) will be placed over your mouth so we can only see the tooth to be treated, and so liquids are not swallowed easily.
Step 4 – Mercury amalgam removal
Special burs are used to slice through the filling rather than grinding it into a slurry of mercury amalgam and water.
Step 5 – Vapour suction
The Flex Vac (a vapour collector) is used to suck up as much mercury vapour as possible. Also an extractor fan removes any more vapour from the room.
Step 6 – Protect your nose
A nose mask is placed – providing you with clean oxygen enriched air, and should you chose, nitrous for a calming effect.
Step 7 – After care
You may either use our after-care detox pack, or your GP or naturopath may take care of this. Support for the liver and immune system is an important part of the process.