Uses: Chronic Heavy Metal Toxicity (Mercury)
The Use of Dental Amalgam Has Become Controversial in Dentistry
Most people know that, but they remain unaware of the most important details.
The controversy revolves around mercury, and rightly so, as mercury is a major component of dental amalgam. Years ago, I discontinued supporting the use of dental amalgams to my patients. We promote the use of porcelain or gold inlay restorations, which have always been better and more long lasting.
Our concerns about dental amalgam were raised after observing that the material is made of mercury, one of the most toxic metals to humans, and is only semi-permanent.
It is clear that even excellently placed dental amalgam restorations (fillings) begin to show signs of failure after as little as 5-8 years. Most dental amalgam restorations definitely need to be replaced after 10-15 years due to material failure.
This means that even after the best efforts of the dental doctor to place an excellent dental amalgam restoration, and after the best efforts of the patient to keep it clean, the restoration will fail simply because of the inherent problems of the material.
The material seems desiccates (dries out) teeth making them more brittle and prone to cracks and fractures. Many patients who suffer from broken teeth have dental amalgam restorations.
The most important concern with dental amalgam is the mercury. More and more evidence is mounting to support the idea that mercury is being released into our bodies from the dental amalgam restorations in our teeth. And as we all know, mercury is toxic to our bodies.
Because of the controversy over dental amalgam, and because more and more dental doctors are becoming aware of the hazards, dental amalgam is declining in its use as a dental restorative material. In fact, it is my opinion that in the next decade, we will see dental amalgam either banned from use in the United States, or abandoned altogether by the majority of dentists in this country.
What is Dental Amalgam?
Here’s a quote from the Academy of General Dentistry: “Most people recognize dental amalgams as “silver fillings”. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, and an alloy of silver, tin and copper. Mercury makes up about 45-50 percent of the compound. Mercury is used to bind the metals together and to provide a strong, hard durable filling. After years of research, mercury has been found to be the only element that will bind these metals together in such a way that can be easily manipulated into a tooth cavity.”
The Dentsply/Caulk Company is the manufacturer of one of the most widely used types of dental amalgam. Here is their formula:
Mercury Ratio 50%
Supporters of Amalgam
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to support the use of dental amalgam to restore teeth, and maintains that the material is safe, durable and affordable.
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) also continues to support the use of dental amalgam.
Most general dentists across the country and in this community continue to use dental amalgam, believing it to be a safe, durable, quick and inexpensive material for restoring teeth.
Opponents of Amalgam
In opposition to the ADA, FDA and AGD views, many organizations and individuals have been increasingly vocal in their appeals for the material to be banned.
Here are a few of the many internet links to opposition groups and information:
Removing Dental Amalgam Safely from your Teeth
There is an established standardized protocol that must be used for the safe removal of dental amalgam from the teeth. This protocol involves methods that protect the patient and the doctor from excessive mercury exposure during the removal process. Be careful here, as not all dental offices are aware of this protocol, and may even tell you that it is unnecessary.
In addition to the proper removal of Dental Amalgams, Chelation Therapy is indicated. The Chelation Protocol is in direct proportion to the body’s burden of Mercury Toxicity. The DMPS provocation with urine analysis gives provides us with a picture of the body’s burden of Mercury. Mercury Detox is provided in a monthly cycle of a pill of DMSA. Mercury body burden is checked periodically to determine the treatment endpoint.