Mercury Free Dentistry
Silver or mercury-amalgam dental fillings contain from 48-55 percent mercury, which is a potent neurotoxin. Scientific studies have demonstrated that mercury, even in small amounts, can cause damage to organs, glands, blood cells, enzymes, and hormones, and have been shown to suppress the body’s immune system. Watch this informative video by Dr. Tom McGuire, DDS
Mercury Free Dentistry Headlines
Read the IAOMT’s recently updated (March 2016) position paper regarding mercury amalgam fillings here.
In October of 2011, the U.S. Department of State announced its new position on the use of mercury amalgam fillings, signaling a new policy direction away from the use of mercury-containing products for human healthcare.
Here’s what the well-regarded website WebMD.com says about mercury-amalgam fillings:
Amalgam fillings are made from liquid mercury mixed with a powder containing silver, tin, copper, zinc, and other metals. It was once thought that the mercury in fillings was permanently trapped in the amalgam. Not anymore.
When people chew, the fillings emit mercury vapor that is absorbed by the body. Even for people with lots of fillings, it’s a small amount of mercury. But since mercury is toxic even at very low levels, there’s growing concern that the mercury in fillings could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for people with other mercury exposures. And dental professionals are routinely exposed to the vapors.
Even now, the FDA does not recommend that people have their fillings removed. But the agency does say that people concerned about the possible health effects of dental fillings should talk with their qualified health care practitioner.
During removal and replacement of mercury-amalgam fillings, some mercury is inevitably released as a vapor. During such procedures, we utilize the Huggins protocol to minimize your risk of exposure.
The following are the methods used to reduce mercury vapor exposure to both patient and operator during amalgam removal.
- Patients undergo a three-day course of Lypospheric Vitamin C leading up to mercury removal.
- Head and neck of the patient are covered with a disposable Tyvek hood.
- The patient is covered with a disposable drape to prevent mercury particles from getting onto their body or clothing.
- Doctor and dental assistant are protected by Tyvek protective wear, filtered respirator masks, and non-latex gloves.
- An alternative source of air (oxygen) is given to the patient via nasal mask.
- A non-latex rubber dam is placed to isolate the quadrant of teeth involved.
- The Dental AirVac is placed within 8 inches of the patient’s mouth, providing added vacuum and elimination to mercury vapors and particles.
- A saliva ejector is placed under the dental dam during mercury filling removal to retrieve any vapors that will pass through the dental dam.
- High volume suction (“Clean Up”) and copious irrigation with water is used during the sectioning and removal of mercury.
- After the rubber dam is removed, all areas of the mouth are thoroughly rinsed with water.
- The patient is given 2 capsules of activated charcoal at the end of the procedure to bind with any particles that may find their way into the intestines.
- Detoxifying and immune system supplements are considered and evaluated for optimal health.
- A whole office system of 5 Hepa filters is constantly utilized to provide the cleanest air possible.
- Our office utilizes a centralized mercury separating unit that collects 99% of mercury before it is passed into waste water.
Our staff is well-experienced in these procedures and will take extra care to protect you from any potential mercury contamination, as well as provide you with a holistic replacement option. After the old fillings have been safely removed, we will replace them with BPA and BIS-GMA free, non-toxic, non-metallic ceramic resin fillings. These fillings also have the advantage of being white, not silver, making them practically invisible to the naked eye.
Check out our “sleep” dentistry options. Never be afraid of the dentist again!
Mercury Filling Removal Video
Dr. Ryan Jones explains the amalgam filling removal process, and the safety procedures involved.
Dr. Ryan Jones: A lot of patients that come to see us are very concerned with the mercury-containing amalgam metal fillings that they have in their mouth. There’s a lot of debate currently out there regarding the safety versus efficacy of these filling types, but one thing that’s for sure is the neurotoxin capability of mercury. Obviously the more fillings you have in your mouth, the more you’re being exposed to. Some people’s immune systems are healthy enough to deal with that and others aren’t.
Dr. Ryan Jones: Just as with any other type of chemical, people are gonna have different sensitivities to things, so we definitely want to be receptive to patients that come here wanting these restorations evaluated or removed. We do a lot of those type restoration removals, and replacing those with metal-free bonded resin fillings or having to cover a tooth with a metal-free all-ceramic crown.
Dr. Ryan Jones: But I just want to kind of walk through the process to what to expect if you are looking at having one of those fillings removed. The first thing we do is you’ll always be on a Vitamin C regiment starting three days prior to that amalgam removal. We use a lypospheric form of Vitamin C and what that does is it increases the antioxidant load in your bloodstream that is capable of binding to any mercury that is in your bloodstream and helps escort that out of your system.
Dr. Ryan Jones: First thing we’re gonna do after you’re comfortable and that tooth is anesthetized is to isolate it with a rubber dam, which is a latex-type sheet that essentially stretches over your teeth, it really separates everything that we’re doing from your mouth and keeps the saliva and contaminants in your mouth out of what we’re doing as far as allowing us to get a stable, quality bond to the tooth.
Dr. Ryan Jones: After that rubber dam is placed, the patient is covered with a disposable drape to prevent any mercury particles from getting into their clothing or their hair or their eyes. We’ll cover their hair and their eyes with protective glasses. We would do that for any procedure; it’s no different in the amalgam removal.
Dr. Ryan Jones: We’re also gonna have an alternate source of air, whether they’re just breathing on oxygen or whether they’re breathing nitrous oxide, which is laughing gas and oxygen. Either way, we’re gonna have something on their nose to allow them to breathe. That way they’re not breathing in through their mouth while we’re removing that mercury-containing filling.
Dr. Ryan Jones: We’re also gonna place a dental air vac within 8 inches of the patient’s mouth just while we’re removing that mercury filling that’s going to pull off any excess mercury vapor that’s released as we cut through that filling that we’re removing. We’re also placing a saliva ejector underneath the rubber dam to help with any saliva that’s collecting while they’re having to keep their mouth open and help deal with any particulate that would get underneath that dam.
Dr. Ryan Jones: We’re gonna be using high-volume suction and copious irrigation with water outside of the rubber dam as we’re removing that filling to try and remove all that we’re cutting out into that suction. And we’ve also got a centralized mercury separating unit attached to our office water system that’s preventing that mercury from being released back out into the wastewater system going into the municipal water source.
Dr. Ryan Jones: We’ve got five HEPA filters here in the office that is completely filtering out all office air not just in the operatories but even in the waiting room, and it’s the best quality air that you could breathe.
Dr. Ryan Jones: Once the procedure is done and the new restoration is placed, we provide the patient with two capsules of activated charcoal just to help bind up any elemental mercury that would be in the gut system and help bind that and escort that out.
Dr. Ryan Jones: And then, beyond that, if there’s any interest the patient has in any detoxifying or immune system supplements, we can discuss that with them to help aid them in their recovery because it’s not an immediate process. It takes a long time for the body to be able to continually shed itself of all that mercury that it had stored up over the, in some case decades, that these patients have had these restorations in their mouth.