Metals Used in Teeth Repair – AHA! Detoxify Discovery for June 2024

Note: This article is dedicated to Dr. Joe Miller, DDS and all of his fellow dentists whom hand-mixed dental amalgam materials of silver, tin and mercury to fill cavities in their patients’ teeth.

April 22, 2024 – When I was a youngster back in the latter 1950’s and early 1960’s, my grandfather had his dental practice on a floor of one of the tallest buildings in Downtown Ft. Worth, TX. He gently applied micro dosages of Novocain and between dosages while awaiting on numbness in my mouth, he would go into the adjacent room to the mix amalgams of silver, tin and mercury used to fill cavities. Also, he enjoyed tinkering with gold and making gold jewelry for his grandchildren. Since elemental mercury is used to make powdered metal annoys bond better for durability, I now presume he was mixing mercury with the gold too. Our honoree for this article, Dr. Miller, also was exposed to mercury amalgam during his many years in practice and swears on the Watt-Ahh for his long-term detoxifying routine for years.

We all likely have or have had metal fillings and even titanium implants in our mouths, sometimes replaced with less-toxic resin compounds, preferably BPA free. Our saliva is caustic to all of these dentistry materials over time. Resin which involves more dentistry training and skill to successfully bond to the tooth, may have a shorter-useful life when compared to metals. Fillings with mercury can discharge mercury gas and lodge into the cells of our lungs, gut, liver and kidneys for years. Titanium typically used in implants also is susceptible to saliva breakdown and may amplify any side effects from EMF (electromagnetic fields) exposure.

Surprisingly, the FDA has a fairly neutral position on replacing mercury amalgam fillings that are in good condition without tooth decay. The FDA does recommend that certain individuals whom may be more susceptible to mercury toxicity (e.g., pregnant women, children and those suffering from kidney disease) should discuss with their dentist and/or physician about dental amalgam. According to the FDA, removal of intact amalgam fillings results in unnecessary loss of healthy tooth structure and exposes the patient to a temporary increase in mercury gas released during the removal process.   There is also some discussion of potential impact of exposure to EMF in elevating mercury toxicity levels for those with amalgam fillings.

How Much Mercury Gas is Discharged from Dental Amalgam Fillings?

Mercury gas discharged from amalgam fillings and inhaled into the lungs comes from the use of elemental mercury. Both elemental and inorganic mercury also can be found in the air, soil and water. Methylmercury or organic mercury is found in fish and can be absorbed through the digestive track. However, both forms of mercury can “bioaccumulate” into the fluids and tissues of the body causing potential health effects to the kidneys, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. Some of the side effects of mercury toxicity include nausea, muscle weakness, indecision, difficulty in breathing and kidney damage.

The FDA, however, remains uncertain about the effects of mercury gas exposure from dental amalgam since research seems to be unable to isolate that gas from other bioaccumulated mercury in the tissue of the body. Research has not consistently determined the degree of mercury accumulation from dental amalgam and whether that amount specifically results in adverse health outcomes. Consequently, the FDA has no acceptable exposure limits for vapor gas from dental amalgam.

Safer Removal of Dental Amalgam Fillings

So, you decided to remove your amalgam fillings and replace with a BPA-free resin compound  but want to reduce mercury gas release during the procedure. A biological dentist who has a IAOMT SMART Certification (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique)  is an option. The elaborate SMART safeguards are applied to protect both the patient and dental staff from mercury exposure during the procedure include wearing protective gear, creating a dental dam that properly seals around the patient’s mouth, water irrigation, high-volume suction and room aeration.

All of the 2024 “AHA! Detoxify” Series can be found here.

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