I recently decided to have a couple of my old metal fillings replaced with tooth-colored composite ones. My dentist pretty much said it wasn’t necessary, but finally agreed to replace them since they slightly worn down. During the removal, I’m pretty sure a large piece of the amalgam fell on my tongue. My dentist grab it immediately, but now that I am home, I’m concerned that there could might have been much smaller pieces missed. What if I swallowed some and didn’t know it? Is it harmful if I ingested it? — Jolynn
It sounds like you saw a traditional dentist rather than a holistic dentist. Most traditionalists will quote the ADA (American Dental Association) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and they don’t worry too much about possible side-effects of mercury or amalgam fillings. In fact, the ADA quotes the FDI (Fédération Dentaire Internationale/ World Dental Federation) and WHO (World Health Organization) on their website by saying, “the small amount of mercury released from amalgam restorations, especially during placement and removal, has not been shown to cause any … adverse health effects.” Holistic dentists, doctors and patients have growing concerns whether this is accurate.
There is no evidence endorsed by a government agency that suggests you will face any adverse health effects from your procedure or from having those fillings removed, nor does any major agency question the safety in having or placing amalgam fillings. Moreover, based on traditional practices, the best process to remove amalgam fillings is to remove them in large pieces to reduce the total amount of aerosol and to keep the large suction, as well as the water sprayer, on the tooth the whole time, to minimize vapors and to remove as many as possible immediately. It sounds like this is what your dentist was doing.
Holistic dentists offer a totally different experience. They use a rubber dam to keep particles and debris from falling into your mouth, as well as additional suction, air movers, oxygen sources, supplementary barriers and other tools to ensure everyone in the room exposed are protected.
Based on current governmentally-endorsed evidence, you have not ingested enough mercury to become ill. But, your concerns are valid and you may want to seek the advice of a holistic dentist before your next procedure.
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website