Amalgam is the most commonly used filling material throughout the world It is an alloy of 50% Silver and 50 % Mercury. It is a material that attracts a lot of controversy because of its Mercury content.
The Dental Associations in New Zealand, Australia and USA endorse it as a safe cheap material. It has been banned as a material in Sweden and is being phased out in Germany. The New Zealand Dental Association advise that it should not be used on pregnant mothers to be (go figure!).
Mercury amalgam has been used as a filling material since 1816. Since then new strong filling materials have been invented and new dental equipment like dental water lasers and air abrasion, make it possible to make mercury (silver) fillings redundant.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Silver Amalgam Fillings?
•They can be dark and unsightly.
•As they age the edges of the fillings undergo metal fatigue and begin to break down.
•When fillings break, they no longer seal the tooth; this may allow cavities to start again.
•Silver fillings just fill holes, they don't add strength to teeth (bonded fillings add strength)
•Silver fillings absorb water and expand as they age, so the tooth may break.
•The metal in silver fillings causes unsightly stains of the teeth and the gums.
•Silver fillings are about 50% mercury, which can be a health concern for some people.
•Undercuts or pins have to be placed in a tooth to mechanically hold the filling in the tooth; this weakens the tooth and can accelerate cracking.
One of all dentists' goals is to keep treatment and damage small. Patient demands for conservation of tooth structure with more aesthetic and less invasive techniques have given rise to the ever-growing acceptance of Micro Dentistry as a choice for small to medium-sized cavities.
A dentist who practices Micro Dentistry will have a dental water laser or air abrasion to clean out the tooth decay without further damage to the tooth structure and then can place a natural-looking white filling.
As a patient, our responsibility is to attend our 6/12 month check-up - decay does not cause pain until the problem has become huge. When we attend our dental check-up, it give the dentist the opportunity to treat decay in the early stages with Micro Dentistry thus preserving our teeth which keeps them strong.
What does 'mercury-safe' mean?
1.Patients request removal of their mercury amalgam fillings for two main reasons:
2.They want to have better looking teeth - a cosmetic make-over.
3.They have been referred by a health professional.
Because of the toxic nature of mercury and the proximity of the mouth to the brain, it is critical to remove mercury amalgam fillings using safe protocols.
There are safe mercury amalgam removal protocols to follow which include IV Vitamin C, rubber dam and a separate oxygen source. I have been doing these procedures for over 5 years, resulting in many happy patients. To support your immune system, I recommend advanced quality broad-spectrum nutritional supplements that contain the full spectrum of vitamins, chelated minerals, antioxidants including Vitamin D3 as well as Omega-3.
I also recommend a follow-up appointment with a natural therapist for an Hg Detox program following safe amalgam removal.
About the Author
Simon Wenley is a dentist in Auckland, New Zealand. He strives to educate people to make regular visits to his office to reduce the cost of dental care and to avoid pain. His office is mercury-free and mercury-safe. Simon recommends that you find a dentist who uses intra-oral cameras and digital x-rays so that you can become involved with your oral health. For more articles and videos visit http://www.simonwenley.com and http://www.dentalman.co.nz