Mercury amalgam removal query

Question: I was hoping you could advise me on mercury amalgam removal. I have about 7 amalgam fillings which I’ve had for about 10 years.

I don’t think I have any side effects yet… Do the fillings cause side effects on a daily basis or only when cracked and should they be removed with a rubber dam? Apparently there is also a specific way of cracking the amalgam so that it’s all removed in one go. I’m obviously also worried that removing them may weaken and break the tooth in the long run.

I’ve heard that the latex in the rubber dam doesn’t prevent you from inhaling the fumes anyway so would using a vacuum suffice?

Also, would you recommend I have them done all at once or slowly to prevent too much poisoning afterward? I am based in South Africa and here we are told that mercury is not harmful at all (although some dentists only use the resin/porcelain these days) so it is very difficult to get a truthful and non-biased answer.

Answer:

1. All mercury amalgam fillings leak mercury.

2. The longer we have mercury amalgam fillings, the greater the exposure, which may result in medical problems.

3. Removal of 10 year old fillings is a good plan.

4. See this link for the safe removal protocols that I follow http://www.dentalman.co.nz/dentalman-services/safe-amalgam-removal/

5. Cracking the amalgam to take out in one piece is not possible.

6. I use IV Vitamin C for patients during amalgam removal.

7. It depends on the size of the fillings as to the timing of removal – 10 small ones can be completed in 2 hours/one appointment. If they are larger it would require 2 appointments.

8. Mercury amalgam fillings crack teeth, due contraction and expansion against weakened tooth structure. The alternative material bonds and holds. It may be possible that your teeth are already cracked.

Mercury amalgam fillings are still controversial – I have not placed any for almost 20 years.

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