In my private dental practice in Huntington Beach, I get many questions from health conscious patients about their silver fillings.
Should they be removed?
Do they contain mercury?
Are they bad for me?
Like most things in dentistry, the answer depends on the situation. Silver fillings DO contain mercury, but most of the mercury goes into your body when the fillings are actually placed. After a year, the fillings are very stable and leech very small amounts of mercury. As well, in order to remove the filling it must be drilled out, and while all precautions will be taken, you will get a larger exposure to mercury from removing the fillings than you will from leaving them in. That being said, while there is no research to support this, there are a handful of patients who have systemic health issues that have been resolved from the removal of silver fillings and metal from their body. If you are to have your silver fillings removed, make sure to go to a holistic dentist near you or a biological dentist near you and express your concern to them so that you make sure they take all the necessary precautions to make sure that you get as little metal and mercury exposure as possible.
Most dentists, holistic dentists and biological dentists agree that mercury fillings, silver fillings, and amalgam fillings shouldn't be used any more. While the amount of mercury in the fillings has been shown to be minimal and not of consequence, most patients prefer none over some. Silver fillings also pose other issues. They expand when they are placed which causes teeth to crack and split leading to crowns and dental implants from losing a tooth. There is also an issue of dental amalgam being used in illegal activities overseas because mercury can be used to dissolve gold, so there is a socially conscious movement away from silver fillings for that reason as well.
If you have silver fillings and want to know if you should have them removed, find the best holistic dentist near you and see what they think you should do in your specific circumstance. Biological and holistic dentists and licensed, normal dentists, but differ in their treatment philosophy. They try to mimic the body's natural processes with all of their dental work so that it is better accepted by the body. This includes things such as keeping crown margins above the gum line to avoid inflammation, practicing minimally invasive dentistry to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible, and placing coverings on fillings so that they don't emit any harmful polymers. Sometimes, especially in cosmetic cases, this isn't an ideal solution, but it should always be offered to the patient so that they have all of the information and can choose how they would like the treatment done.
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