Dangers of Amalgam Fillings
We have for a long time been aware of the importance of dental health, and the dangers of amalgam fillings. But since attending a symposium about oral health from the United States, we are now newly committed to getting this vitally important health information out to as many as possible about the serious health & environmental problems caused by mercury fillings.
Since arriving in Queensland from Europe over fifteen years ago, we have used several different dental clinics, none of which were aware of the dangers of mercury amalgams and none practised biological dentistry! This form of dentistry, versus conventional practices, could be compared to organic versus insecticide & chemical laden foods. Basically biological dentists observe the dictum of “first do no harm” and protect their patients from the toxic effects of dental materials used and especially the dangers of amalgam fillings.
We had previously assumed that as long as we avoided exposure to the health risks of dental cavities filled with mercury amalgam (amalgams have mercury in them mixed with other metals) and refused fluoride treatment, we would be ok. Oh boy, how wrong was that assumption. The latest state of the art information from the oral health symposium gave us a clear indication of what is now considered to be safe dental practice and the problems with mercury fillings.
Toxicity of Amalgam Fillings in Conventional Dentist Practices
We already knew that mercury amalgams were a serious toxicity problem worldwide, but we had not realised that if you go to a conventional non-biological dentist, they could put your health into serious jeopardy, simply due to the materials used and the lack of appropriate air filtration – even if you do not have any mercury amalgam filled teeth in your head. Luckily for our family, we have now sought out the services of practising biological dentists here on the Sunshine Coast. They do exist but you have to look for them.
We especially urge you to quiz your dentist about their procedure for the removal of dangerous amalgam fillings, which in fact could be considered “the litmus test”! Do they just merrily drill into it, dispersing this nasty toxic metal thoroughly around your mouth, where it is quickly absorbed via the soft tissues, but also around their practice, exposing not only themselves and their staff but also YOU and the patients that come in after you.
These tiny molecular fragments of toxic mercury fillings can become airborne and have the potential to accumulate throughout the practice unless properly dealt with. If you are unlucky to be the next client after an incorrect (or should we say “standard and dangerous”) amalgam removal, you too will be the “lucky recipient” of someone else’s vaporised and now highly dangerous mercury fillings as you breathe the same air in the often small dental surgery and sit in the same chair coated with mercury molecules from previous removals.
Yep, we are not making this up, and our simple advice is to ask your dentist a few questions about the dangers of amalgam fillings removal and their precautions for this very dangerous procedure.
What to Ask About Minimising the Risks of Mercury Removal?
- Do they use a non-latex dental dam to isolate the tooth being worked on and prevent debris and vapours going down your throat?
- Do they afford you proper airway protection i.e. a separate air supply to your nose? Mouth breathing should be avoided during the procedure.
- Will there be high speed suction held close to the dangerous mercury amalgam filling being removed during drilling and how is this air filtered? This is really important to ensure that toxic particles do not remain within the practice and are safe removed.
- Is the surgery equipped with an environmental and efficient air exhaust system?
- Will you be gowned up properly as well as the dentist and his/her staff?
If you get negative answers to these questions, we would suggest you head for the door and find another dentist, who is up to speed with current dental technology and has a properly equipped surgery. Such dentists will afford you the protection you require and deserve when you are having routine checks and cleaning, and especially to avoid the problems of mercury fillings when they need to be removed.
An Enlightened Dentist Speaks Out
If your dentist doesn’t take you seriously when asking these questions, maybe inform them that Dr. Lisa Matriste, director of Australians for Mercury Free Dentistry says: “I have been a dentist for over 25 years (for 23 of which I have been a mercury free dentist) and have witnessed the complete lack of education that is given to dental professionals about the risks of amalgam fillings. This means that dentists, their staff and their patients have not been informed of associated health risks from being exposed to mercury and its negative environmental impact.” http://www.mercuryfreedentistry.com.au/
Even the WHO in 1991 confirmed that the greatest dietary source of mercury was in fact dental amalgam – and not fish as had been previously thought. For example, the amalgam manufacturers state that the product should not be stored above 25C.
That is an interesting fact, don’t you think, as we all know that our body temperature is around 37C!!! This fact alone confirms that mercury can easily be vaporised when we eat warm foods and drink hot beverages. Here is a YouTube clip, where you can see the vapours rise from a tooth demonstrating the toxicity of amalgam fillings – check it out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqIdGwAMxxs – really not something you want to occur on a daily basis in your mouth! Not only that, but the fillings also swell with time. Since you are continually masticating food with those amalgam filled teeth, you are continually dislodging minute particles of mercury and swallowing it with the food!
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has now issued a list of the dangers of amalgam fillings including:
- Impairment of development of brain and nervous system in foetuses, infants and children. So if you are planning to become pregnant or are pregnant – be aware that these risky silver fillings can compromise the health of your unborn child.
- Impaired thinking, memory, attention, language and fine motor skills.
- Lack of coordination.
- Muscle weakness.
- Reduced cognitive function.
- Kidney disease.
- Lung and Cardiac problems.
Environmental Issues Recognised
Another major concern is the discarded mercury amalgam – what happens to it as it is being removed? If you have a non-biological dentist, then what you spit out will usually end up in the sewage plant and ultimately in the environment. An informed dentist will have their dental practice’s pipes connected to an amalgam separator, therefore protecting themselves, their staff, patients and the environment from the toxicity of amalgam fillings.
A new UN global treaty, called the Minamata Treaty was finalised in Geneva January 2013 – for further information see here http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/chemicals-management/mercury
There were more than 140 nations worldwide who committed themselves (Australia included) to curb mercury pollution. Toxicity of dental amalgam was officially recognised as a serious environmental pollutant.
For example in my country of origin, Switzerland, dangerous mercury amalgam fillings have not been used for over 13 years.
Luckily for us, there are now more and more biological dentists available who recognise the dangers of amalgam fillings and are lobbying governments to instruct institutions offering dental courses to update the practices currently taught.
Did you realise that when the body of a person is cremated, who has amalgam fillings, mercury will then be released via the chimney into the air and add to the cumulative mercury toxicity of the earth? This dispersal of dangerous mercury fillings into the environment can also occur when a person is buried, but this will take a lot longer and depend on rainfall and underground minerals, water acidity and watercourses.
I personally have paid a heavy price for exposure to the risks of mercury fillings, rendering me infertile due to my Saturday job in the mid-1970s working as a dental technician for a local dentist in Switzerland, where I unwittingly mixed up many amalgam fillings without any personal safety protocols.
What Can You Do?
It is well known within the alternative holistic medical field, that often many serious symptoms and diseases can be eliminated by cleaning up one’s mouth and eliminating the health problems of mercury fillings. If you have amalgams – consider having them removed by a qualified biological dentist as soon as possible.
If you do not have a biological dentist in your area, interview your current dentist, ask questions, don’t be shy – after all you are going to give your hard earned cash to them. Make sure you ask the questions suggested earlier and in this way derive confidence that they know how to protect you, themselves and their staff from the dangers of amalgam fillings.
Remember, even though you might not have any amalgam in your mouth, you can still be placing yourself in danger of exposure to toxic mercury by using a dentist that does not recognise the dangers of amalgam fillings and does not take adequate steps to deal with the removal and disposal of other clients’ dangerous mercury amalgams in a safe and environmentally aware manner. Forewarned is forearmed.
Yours in good dental health, The Team at CoolWellbeing Foundation