We practice dentistry that not only makes you look better, it makes you feel better too. That is the primary reason we never use mercury amalgams, typically called silver fillings. Metal amalgam fillings make smiles look dark and old.
Worse, metal in your teeth is not good for your mouth or your body. Amalgam fillings have multiple disadvantages. Amalgam is a metal that expands and contracts with heat, cold or even when biting down. Every meal you eat with an amalgam filling weakens the integrity of your tooth making it vulnerable to fracture and bacterial invasion.
Even more importantly, these fillings really aren’t silver. These so-called silver fillings are an amalgam that contains all kinds of metals including a lot of mercury, usually at least 55% mercury. Mercury is classified by the FDA as a poison — a volatile one! That means that when you eat or drink, the filling is not only compromised, but mercury vapors are also released.
In fact, there is enough mercury in one large filling to sufficiently contaminate a 10 square mile lake and restrict fishing.
In 1985 the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology reviewed the transcript of the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) Workshop on the biocompatibility of Metals in Dentistry and the then available scientific literature and concluded that there was reasonable doubt about the safety of dental amalgam and it was recommended that, “The use of metal/silver fillings should be discontinued until such time as primary pathological evidence of amalgam safety is produced.” Since the 1985 recommended moratorium on future placement of metal/silver fillings, scientific research has furthered reinforced the basis for concern. The last time we checked, it was illegal to place silver amalgam fillings in several countries in Europe.
The Colonial Dental Group practices completely mercury free dentistry and offers replacement of metal restorations with safe and biocompatible materials. We invite you to talk to us about your options. Do it for your health — do it for your smile — and do it for the earth!
Here are some of the findings about the safety of mercury amalgam fillings:
“It is a fallacy that metal is neutralized when it is combined with other components of silver dental amalgam. The laws of physical chemistry are followed. Metal is diluted by the other components of amalgam in what may be considered a solid solution. Although the vapor pressure of metal is reduced, metal vapor is still released. An identical situation arises when alcohol is diluted by water.” Dun, A. Harmful Vapors in the Office: A report of the findings of the 1985 ODAJRCDS survey of metal vapor in dental offices in Ontario Ontario Dentist p 37-38 4/1988
- Research has shown that metal even in extremely small amounts has toxic effects, for example, low dose metal exposure has been shown to produce neurological pathology, cytotoxicity to nerve tissue.
- Published experimental evidence as early as 1926 has demonstrated that metal is not locked in, but is released from fillings. More recent research has shown that both chewing and tooth brushing release metal vapor into the human oral cavity.
Stock, A. Die Gefahrlichkeit des quecksilberdampfes. Z Angew Chem. 1926, 39: 461-488.
Svare, C.W., Peterson, L.C., Reinhardt, J.W., Boyer, D.B., Frank, C.W., Gay, D.D., Cox, RD. The effect of Dental Amalgams on metal levels in expired air. J Dent Res. 60:1668-71, 1981
- The removal of metal and the preparation for bio-friendly replacement materials require expertise. Research is clearly showing that the use of new materials is very technique sensitive. This means that the dentist must be well informed on the different materials.
- There is no ADA certification for the mixed amalgam as, “safe and effective.” The ADA has maintained that mixed dental amalgam is a reaction product manufactured by the individual dentist and therefore cannot be certified and it is the responsibility of the individual dentist to determine the efficacy of the materials and their appropriateness for each patient. One reading this paragraph is given the distinct impression that dental amalgam has the ADA seal of approval as, “safe and effective” and has been certified. What has been certified is the purity of the metal and the composition of the silver alloy.
ADA Letter: John W. Stanford, PhD. Secretary CDMIE. May 22,1986 .
- It has been reported that cutaneous (skin) allergy to metal occurs in approximately 5% of the general population. Studies of those with amalgam fillings find that between 2% – 35% test hypersensitive to metal. None of the experimental subjects without dental amalgam tested positive for allergy to metal. The development of this adverse reaction may not be immediate but research shows that the incidence of allergy gradually increases with time and onset may be delayed five or more years.
Djerassi, E., Berova, N. The possibilities of allergic reactions from silver amalgam restorations. hit Dent J. 19:481-8, 1969
Robinson, HM., Bereston, ES. Contact dermatitis due to the metal of amalgam dental fillings. Arch Dermatol Syphilol. 59:116-8, 1949
White, R.R., Brandt, R.L. Development of metal hypersensitivity among dental students. J Amer Dent Assoc. 92:1204-7, 1976
Miller, E.G., Perry, W.L., Wagner, M.J. Prevalence of metal hypersensitivity in dental students. J Dent Res. 64:(Spec Issue Abstracts) Abstract 1472, page 338, March, 1985