What’s Wrong with Silver Fillings? Why You Should Get Amalgam Removed Safely
Updated: Aug 2
Dental procedures can sometimes be daunting. You may not know the exact process or materials your dentist uses to fix your problem. However, with current dental technology, many dental procedures are safe, and there are options for safer alternative materials used by holistic dentists.
One type of dental procedure that you need to be cautious about is dental fillings. Many people have to get fillings, and sometimes multiple ones. Once you’ve gotten your fillings, people typically go on without much thought, but the materials used in traditional fillings may be toxic to you.
So, what’s wrong with silver fillings? Here’s why you should get your silver fillings swapped with healthier, modern versions from your holistic dentist.
Are you interested in what holistic dentistry services we provide? Learn more about what you can get at Health Centered Dentistry!
What Are Silver Fillings Made of?
Dental amalgam, or silver fillings, are made with a mix of several toxic materials, including mercury, and have been linked to many severe health effects. The mixture combines liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy made up of silver, tin, and copper. The elemental mercury makes up 50% of dental amalgam by weight and reacts with and binds with the other metal particles to form the strong amalgam.
When placing a dental amalgam, the dentist first drills the tooth to remove the decay and then shapes the tooth cavity to place the filling. Under the appropriate safety conditions, the dentist will mix the powered alloy and liquid mercury to form an amalgam putty. This allows them to place the softened putty and shape the prepared cavity where it rapidly hardens into a solid filling.
Mercury can be a primary source of some people’s adverse health problems. The FDA associates the mercury from a dental amalgam as bioaccumulative. This refers to the build-up or steadily increasing concentration of chemicals in organs or tissues in the body.
Although much mercury is eliminated, part of it can be accumulated in bodily fluids and tissues, including the kidneys and brain. The FDA doesn’t cite studies suggesting that increased mercury levels and bioaccumulation due to dental amalgam results in detectable damage to target organs.
Why Do Dentists Use Silver Fillings?
Amalgam fillings are a very popular choice used by many conventional dentists. Although the materials used for the fillings are toxic, there are some benefits for people, including:
Strong and long-lasting fillings so they’re less likely to break
Useful in patients who have a high risk of tooth decay
Least expensive type of filling material
Potential Risks of Silver Fillings
Even though this method of silver fillings is continued to be taught in dental schools and used by many within the field, there are potential risks for people receiving this kind of amalgam filling. Some risks of silver fillings can include:
Mercury Exposure: Mercury-filled amalgams release low mercury levels in a vapor form that can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High exposure can result in adverse effects on the brain and kidneys.
Developmental Issues to Fetuses and Young Children: There is limited data on the long-term effects of mercury fillings on developing fetuses and children under six, including those who breastfeed.
Adverse Health Effects: Although the general population may not have adverse effects from mercury exposure in small doses, some may experience greater health risks for particular groups, including:
Pregnant women and their developing fetuses
Women who are planning on becoming pregnant
Nursing women and their newborns and infants
Children, those under the age of six
People with pre-existing neurological disease
People with impaired kidney function
People with known heightened sensitivity (allergy) to mercury, silver, copper, or tin
Potential Allergy or Sensitivity: Some individuals have an allergy or other sensitivity to mercury or other components used in the amalgam, including silver, copper, and tin, which may cause some to develop oral lesions or other sensitivity reactions.
Are you interested in getting your silver fillings removed safely? Learn more about how we remove them at Health Centered Dentistry!
What Are Dental Fillings Used for?
Dental fillings are a common method to help people treat their dental problems, including a small hole or cavity in a tooth. To repair a cavity, the dentist has to remove the decayed tooth tissue and then fill the space with the filling material.
This allows the tooth to maintain what’s left of the healthy structure and fill in the rest of the space, so you still have a tooth-like structure to use for eating or talking. Many people need fillings as the teeth can be harmed by bacteria in your mouth that makes the acid attack the tooth enamel.
More severe decay can cause a large hole or even destruction of the entire tooth. It can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss if not treated. So, it’s important to seek treatment.
How to Safely Remove Silver Fillings
It’s important to seek the right medical assistance when considering removing your silver fillings. Removing intact amalgam fillings may result in unnecessary loss of healthy tooth structure and a temporary increase in exposure due to additional mercury vapor released during the removal process.
Amalgam is treated as a bio-hazard when shipped to dental offices and removed from the mouth. At Health Centered Dentistry, we want to ensure you are protected from mercury exposure when the amalgam fillings are removed.
The quantities of mercury vapor and fine particles that can be inhaled and absorbed in the lungs can potentially harm patients, dentists, and dental workers. We follow the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) Safe Amalgam Removal Protocol which protects everyone from mercury exposure.
When it’s time to remove your fillings, we have specific protocols that will help protect you during treatment. These include:
High-vacuum suction, including Clean Up® device
Adequate filtration in each operatory
High-volume oral aerosol vacuum
Protective gowns for patients and the dental team
Respiratory grade mask for the dental team
Oxygen delivered via nasal mask for the patient
IV Vitamin C
We also provide supplements before treatment, including charcoal, glutathione, and selenium. These supplements can help chelate mercury particles and expel them from the body. Getting treated will help ensure that you and everyone else are safe while using natural materials to solve your dental problems.
Why Should You Choose Health Centered Dentistry?
Health Centered Dentistry takes a holistic approach to your care. We want to ensure that the dental materials we use are safe and natural to mitigate any health concerns that could arise from your oral health.
If you want to switch your silver fillings, we can safely remove them and replace them with natural materials. We don’t place amalgam fillings due to the toxic mercury content. We use a bio-compatible material for tooth fillings. The fillings we place are made of resin (white) composite material that is safe, non-toxic, and strong.
Visit us in Anchorage, Alaska, to get integrative, whole-body dental care for the whole family. We offer many regular services such as dental checkups and oral surgeries. Our most popular holistic services include safe amalgam removal, ozone, and testing for Vitamin C and pH levels.
At Health Centered Dentistry, you can get regular dental care paired with a natural approach to reinforce your healthy Alaskan lifestyle. We have several amenity options to help you feel comfortable during your visit, as well as the ability to talk with our dentists about our approach to holistic dentistry.
Are you ready to take a natural approach to your care? Schedule an appointment with Health Centered Dentistry to remove your silver fillings and get a natural treatment for your oral health!