When it comes to dental fillings, amalgam is the most commonly used material. Unfortunately, amalgam fillings can contain mercury and other metals, making them potentially hazardous for our health. Safe removal of amalgam fillings includes understanding the risks associated with their removal, knowing when to get them removed, and the proper techniques to make sure it is done safely. In this blog post, we will discuss the hidden dangers of amalgam fillings and how to safely remove them.
What are Amalgam Fillings?
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, have been used in dentistry for over a century. They are a combination of metals, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper. This mixture creates a strong and durable material that is commonly used for filling cavities.
The primary component of amalgam fillings is mercury, which makes up about 50% of the mixture. While mercury is a toxic substance, it is allegedly bound within the filling material and has been sold as not posing a significant risk to our health when the filling is intact. However, there is concern about the potential mercury exposure during the removal process.
Amalgam fillings can release small amounts of mercury vapor when they are disturbed, such as during chewing, grinding, temperature changes or removal. This vapor can be inhaled or absorbed through the mouth and can accumulate in our body tissues over time. Long-term exposure to mercury can have detrimental effects on our health, including neurological and cognitive issues.
To minimize the risk of mercury exposure during amalgam filling removal, certain precautions should be taken. These include using high-speed evacuation to remove the mercury vapor, using a carbide burr to minimize the heat generated during removal and allow for removal in large chunks, and employing copious amounts of water to keep the filling cool and trap particulates. Additionally, the use of air filtration systems and amalgam separators can help prevent mercury from being released into the environment.
Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings
Now that we understand the risks associated with amalgam fillings and the potential dangers of mercury exposure, it’s important to discuss how to safely remove these fillings. Safe removal involves taking certain precautions to minimize the release and inhalation of mercury vapor.
One key aspect of safe removal is the use of effective barriers (body, hair, face) and environmental protections such as air filtration. At Gilmore Dental we use a technology called Isodry (high speed evacuation) to isolate the tooth being treated, which helps prevent any particles or vapors from inadvertently being swallowed or inhaled. The staff wear protective equipment such as gloves, a mask, and a protective gown to avoid direct contact with the filling and any potential vapor.
Another important step is ensuring a well-ventilated environment during the removal process. This can be achieved by using a powerful air filtration system to remove any mercury vapor from the immediate vicinity. Oxygen can be worn by the patient and is delivered through a nasal cannula, forcing oxygen into the body to avoid inhalation of vapor. Additionally, utilizing an approved amalgam separator helps prevent mercury from being released into the environment.
During removal, it’s crucial to minimize heat generation, as this can increase the release of mercury vapor. Using a carbide burr with constant water spray helps keep the filling cool and reduces the risk of vaporization.
Before and after removal, it’s recommended to rinse thoroughly with a charcoal slurry or other natural remedies to help detoxify the body from any potential mercury exposure.
By following these guidelines and taking appropriate safety measures, both patients and dental professionals can ensure the safe removal of amalgam fillings while minimizing the risk of mercury exposure.
Natural Remedies for Detoxing the Body from Mercury
Detoxifying your body from potential mercury exposure after the removal of amalgam fillings is a crucial step in promoting your overall health. While the body has natural detoxification mechanisms, there are natural remedies that can help support the process and eliminate any residual toxins.
One effective natural remedy for detoxification is milk thistle. Milk thistle is a powerful herb known for its liver-supporting properties. It helps the liver to function optimally and aids in the elimination of toxins from the body. You can find milk thistle supplements in capsule or liquid form, or you can enjoy it as a tea.
Chlorella is another beneficial natural remedy for detoxification. This green algae contains chlorophyll, which helps bind and eliminate heavy metals like mercury from the body. You can take chlorella supplements or incorporate it into your diet through powders or tablets.
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a popular herb that can aid in detoxification. It has been shown to help remove heavy metals, including mercury, from the body. You can use fresh cilantro in your meals or add it to smoothies for a refreshing detoxifying boost.
In addition to these natural remedies, it is essential to support your body’s overall health through a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and consider incorporating other detoxifying practices, such as saunas or dry brushing.
By incorporating these natural remedies and healthy practices into your routine, you can support your body’s detoxification process and promote optimal health after the removal of amalgam fillings. Remember to consult with your healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or detoxification regimen.