Posts Tagged ‘amalgam removal’

Some General Information on Mercury Fillings

There have already been a few articles written on this blog about mercury in fillings, which you can read here, but I wanted to go over it again in case you haven’t had a chance to read those. I’ll start with some general things you’ve maybe never heard about mercury in your silver/amalgam fillings. In future posts I’ll talk in more detail about how mercury affects your health.

What is mercury? Mercury is a substance that is poisonous to the human body in any quantity, not just in large amounts. Even the tiniest bit of exposure can be extremely harmful to your health, and for this reason, what I’m about to say next may sound odd: silver/ amalgam fillings contain mercury as their one of their main ingredients. They’re not called mercury fillings, and so many people don’t realize that it’s a large part of the filling.

I’ll be writing soon in more detail about the way mercury is released into your body and give you a few more things to consider about this topic. Stay tuned for more on mercury, and how you can help keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles


Don’t Mess with Mercury While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Installing or removing amalgam (a.k.a. “silver” or metal) cavity fillings is never, ever recommended while pregnant or breastfeeding. In my book, amalgam should never be installed in the first place, but should certainly be removed as soon as possible. When a developing infant is depending on its mother for nourishment, however, mercury removal is a bad idea.

When amalgam is installed or removed, a spike of mercury is ingested through the mouth, nose, or skin, released into the bloodstream and soft tissues of the body, and then stored in fatty tissue — fatty tissue not only meaning stored body fat, but mostly in the brain and various glands and organs that rely on fat/cholesterol to function properly. This is why you hear primarily about severe nervous or endocrine conditions caused by mercury poisoning, though other symptoms of mercury toxicity run the gamut from random minor complaints to chronic illness. Symptoms may seem completely unrelated, making it difficult to diagnose. But it is definitely there if you’ve been exposed to it, whether or not you “feel” poisoned by it.

With that knowledge, you can imagine how vulnerable a growing baby would be to the mother’s mercury exposure. Conventional dentistry and its literature may tell you otherwise. They say there is little to no significant risk or imminent danger. Many patients testify to having mouths just full of metal or having it installed/removed during pregnancy but deliver and raise kids who are perfectly normal. Let me put it flatly: they do not know what they are talking about. Again, mercury poisoning’s symptoms will not always be obvious. If that stuff is in your body, it will affect you or your offspring. It could be random headaches. It could be infertility or other hormonal discomforts. It could be sluggishness, foggy thinking, or the inability to lose weight. It could be autism or ADHD or another neurological disorder. These problems certainly aren’t getting better in our country, and the number of children developing these problems is steadily increasing, not decreasing! Is it possible this “harmless” amalgam has anything to do with it?

All this to say, causing further disruption to amalgam dental work would be very dangerous for both mom and baby. It is key to have all mercury safely removed from your teeth before conceiving. Don’t wait until pregnancy — planned or not — to care for your health in this important (but too often overlooked) way. Either take care of it now before conceiving, or wait until after weaning when you can have it removed and safely detox without worrying about passing on the poison to your child.

The only ways we’re going to keep having healthy babies and pregnancies is by thinking ahead, thinking critically, staying informed, and applying what we learn.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Mercury-Safe Dentistry: Removing the Mercury

Once you’ve decided to have the mercury in your mouth removed and replaced, some important precautions need to be taken:

  • Be aware that even when correctly removed, a mercury filling or crown releases astronomical amounts of mercury vapor and even visible debris. Sometimes, inevitably, there is a rise in mercury levels in the human body. However, now that the source of mercury is gone and the body will continue trying to detoxify itself, the amount will decrease over time.
  • It is important not to swallow while getting the amalgam replaced. This is probably the most uncomfortable aspect of the process, but should not be much of a bother considering the great service you’re doing for your health in the long run.
  • The time and effort involved in amalgam removal depend on how much mercury is in the mouth. Some may have one small filling; others, several crowns and fillings. It’s too bad that conventional dentists are not hesitant to pump mouths full of the stuff. Getting it back out is so much less convenient than putting in in.
  • I like to use the Isolite system for a hassle-free mercury removal procedure. An Isolite mouthpiece provides light, suction, and a tongue barrier all in one. An Isolite helps protect much of the oral cavity (your mouth) from flying mercury debris.
  • As an extra precaution, I use a powerful suctioning machine that stands nearby and safely “vacuums” up the mercury debris that may be released while the amalgam is removed. This machine is very important. When mercury is broken into pieces and removed, not only does the patient need to be careful of exposure, but the entire rest of the office does, too. Microscopic traces of mercury could very well go undetected, causing a toxic environment for everyone.

In the next post, I’ll go over what should happen after mercury is removed.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

One Final Note on Amalgam Removal

(Continued from the previous post:)

Be careful when you have your amalgam filling(s) removed; for several hours the numbness in your face will hinder good judgment on whether your bite feels normal again (when your teeth fit together as you clench down, like normal chewing).

When Dr. Sperbeck refills your teeth, a tiny bit of extra filling will stick out above the tooth, and you’ll be able to feel it. He will sand it down to match the rest of your natural tooth’s shape, and check your bite on a piece of film to get rid of any good-bite-blockage. I thought I was good to go, but as “Mrs. Marshmallow Face”, I should have been more careful in determining the status of my bite! Ever so subtly, I can feel just something there that makes my bite go just a bit crooked and it’s not how I remember it. My jaw muscles have also been feeling slightly more tired. Then occasionally I will find myself subconsciously clenching — almost grinding, like my jaw wants to go back to the old way of chewing but can’t find a way. The funny thing is, is that it hardly bothers me at all, but in reality this must be fixed quickly. Even minor adjustments such as this grow into bigger problems. I read and hear about TMJ a lot now, and I’m realizing that this is a way it can start, and I’m thankful I’ve recognized it early! I am going back to the office in a few days to shave off some more of the fillings so my normal bite will return.

If this has ever been your case (maybe you had your fillings removed a long time ago, and you remember not feeling quite normal, but you ignored it and it became the new “normal”), do not wait to have that fixed or at least examined by a dentist! Straying from the natural way your teeth should fit together is terrible for your jaw in the long run. TMJ disorders develop from those “insignificant” bothers, and it’s so important to communicate with your dentist of ANYTHING that wasn’t the way it was before. Granted, it may not always be a negative result, but it is still important to speak up, because the dentist knows a whole lot more about what’s right/wrong in our mouths.

Removing My Fillings

(Continued from the previous post:)

So here’s how the procedure went:

I sat in the chair. It was comfy. They started by numbing my mouth up so I wouldn’t feel the drilling. Once it kicked in, shields and suction things were placed in my mouth and around our heads so any mercury vapor wouldn’t escape into our lungs.

They drilled out each filling on the right side of my mouth first, cleaned it, refilled those teeth with the right kind of filling, and cleaned everything once more. They had me rinse, but I had lots of trouble because I could not even feel my lips or tongue, and not dripping all over my bib was quite a task. Plus, I was not allowed to swallow at all the entire time (that was the hardest part).

I sat back down, they did the same thing to the other side of my mouth, and just like that, it was finished! They sanded down the fillings to correct my bite, had me rinse and gargle and wash once more, and I was good to go! Well, except for my mouth still being completely numb. My husband was having a ball teasing me about my “thilly thpeecthhh.”

For the next couple of weeks/months while the mercury level in my body is spiking, I will have to go through a special detox to get rid of all traces; but once that’s over, I will not ever have to worry about it again. And I have all-white teeth again, thank goodness!