As Biological dentists, we recognise the impact of toxic materials on dental and general health. We are concerned about the integrity of the oral cavity and we use materials and procedures that are as biologically compatible with our patients as possible, and are safer for us and for the environment.
Is mercury in dentistry a real concern?
Dental Amalgams are made up of an alloy of metals mainly silver, tin and mercury with varying amounts of Zinc and copper.
On the Physical level:
Being a metal alloy, they expand and contract in a much different way than your natural tooth. This leads to continuous stresses on the remaining tooth structure leading to crack development and propagation. Teeth eventually become like a cracked windscreen.
The cracks in some cases can eventually lead to splitting of the tooth with its painful sequelae.
On the biological level:
- Many people don’t realise that silver amalgam fillings are 50% or more mercury.
- A large filling might contain as much mercury as a thermometer.
- Mercury vaporises at room temperature where it is odourless, colourless and tasteless.
- Inhaled mercury vapour gets easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Being an alloy of metals, these metals undergo continuous corrosion in our wet oral environment. These corrosion products also get swallowed into the gut.
- Due to its poisonous nature, mercury can adversely affect the immune system, urinary, cardiac, respiratory and digestive systems.
- Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. Upon laboratory conditions, mercury has produced brain cell deterioration identical to that seen in patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
Being a powerful toxin, no amount of exposure to mercury vapour can be considered harmless, especially considering its cumulative effect.
Please play this videos to actually see the mercury vapour that is released from a mercury filled tooth:
Understanding mercury toxicity
Mercury vapour is continuously emitted from dental fillings. That mercury is released from corrosion of the filling over time and from its continuous wear caused by our dynamic chewing forces. The damaging effects of this exposure may not manifest for years or even decades but its cumulative effect is summarised as follows (taken from a lecture given by Dr Boyd Haley PhD ):
Mercury disrupts the homeostasis of essential metals.
- Most neurological illnesses are accompanied by abnormal metal levels.
- As we breathe in mercury vapour, it immediately crosses the blood brain barrier where it gets oxidised and displaces essential metals like iron, zinc, copper and manganese from their oxidised form to become free metals. These metals in their oxide form are very essential in many enzymatic reactions throughout our body.
- By freeing these metals, they not only become inactive and cannot be used by the body, but they also become toxic.
Iron is a key element in energy production. If mercury displaces iron from its iron oxide format in the brain, the brain cannot make ATP (which are the energy molecules in our cells) and therefore cannot make glutathione.Glutathione is very essential in detoxification processes and is a key antioxidant. The free iron will take up Oxygen from the air we breath and create a superoxide anion. This will eventually lead to oxidative stress. People who suffer from mercury toxicity have no energy due to this process.
Mercury inhibits the sodium/potassium pump in our membranes.
This is essential for the transfer of amino acids into our cells. Amino acids are essential for building proteins.
Mercury activates destructive enzymes:
- Ingested mercury will destroy the tight junctions between our intestinal cells and lead to a leaky gut.
- Leaky gut means that certain foods that we eat (like gluten and others) will cross from inside the intestine into the blood leading to all sorts of immune reactions. This is because these food particles are not supposed to be in the blood in that format.
- Activation of destructive enzymes means that mercury can stimulate the destruction of membranes in general destroying the compartmentalisation in our bodies (we have membranes surrounding all our organs to keep them into separate compartments).
Mercury dramatically affects the production of the thyroid hormone.
Mercury in foetal tissues is linked to the number of mercury fillings in the mother.
Newborns may be at risk of learning disabilities due to mercury they absorbed from their mothers.
We recommend supplements prior to mercury removal
Removal of amalgam fillings could expose your body to dangerous levels of mercury vapours if its not done properly and in a safe manner. Thats why we work in close conjunction with nutritionists and naturopaths to restore your body’s natural chemistry and defence systems as well as detox from mercury.
Supplements like organic clean chlorell, zinc and vitamin C before, during and after mercury removal are part of our recommended mercury detox regime.
So what is safe mercury removal?
Unsafe amalgam removal could expose you to dangerously high levels of mercury vapours. This could leave you and everyone breathing that contaminated air feeling much worse than before removing them. Fortunately there are some steps that we can take which will greatly reduce risk and minimise everyone’s exposure to this toxic metal.
Our amalgam removal protocol
At Ozone Dentistry we follow a very strict protocol to remove amalgam fillings to make sure that we provide with the safest most up to date known. WE follow the exact protocol of the International Academy Of Oral and Maxillofacial Toxicology (IAOMT) which is where we received our training in this field.
- We use an efficient suction system with a special tip to contain amalgam particles and mercury vapour.
- We will ask you to put on our oxygen mask to minimise the chance of inhaling any of the mercury vapours.
- Karim our dentist and his lovely assistant Erin will be wearing gowns and masks to protect them from mercury vapours.
- Copious amounts of water as an irrigant during the procedure will be used to minimise heat and mercury vapour production.
- Amalgam is removed in large segments to minimise generation of mercury vapours.
- We use a special vacuum system to suck mercury vapours from the room.
- Our dental suction system is fitted with an amalgam separator to trap the amalgam particles and prevent them from being disposed in the waste water. We then dispose of that as a biological hazard, just doing our bit for our environment.
Please click on the link below to view our safer amalgam removal technique.
What happens after amalgam removal?
Depending on the condition of the remaining tooth, we can offer a selection of more biocompatible dental materials to be used in the place of the old amalgam filling.
You may be advised by your physician to continue your detox therapy for a few weeks to ensure all mercury has been removed from your system.