Dental schools still teach dentists to use mercury amalgam (silver) fillings and the American Dental Association (ADA) continues to tell the public they are safe. But recently, more and more questions have been raised about the safety of the mercury vapor released from amalgams. This has resulted in a controversy and an ongoing debate about them – with some dentists saying they are safe and some saying they aren’t. This has now evolved to the point where over 50% of practicing dentists no longer putting amalgam silver fillings in their patients’ teeth. Also, of interest is that three countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) have banned the use of mercury fillings in dental practices.
This controversy has made me rethink what I was taught in dental school. After extensive research (including reading Dr. McGuire’s book The Poison in Your Teeth: Mercury Amalgam (Silver) Fillings . . . Hazardous to Your Health) and information provided by the ADA, I concluded over 18 years ago it would be in the best interests of my Sheboygan dental patients to no longer offer amalgam as a filling material and become a Mercury Free dental practice.
In addition, because it has been conclusively proven that high levels of toxic mercury vapor are released when amalgam fillings are unsafely removed, we’ve made our office as occupationally Mercury Safe as possible. To that end, I use state-of-the art technology, equipment, and safe removal protocols, to protect our patients, our team, myself and the environment from excessive and unnecessary occupational exposure to mercury at our Sheboygan dental office. Thus, we’ve now made our practice both mercury free (amalgam filling free) and occupationally mercury safe.
Becoming both a mercury amalgam free and mercury safe dental practice was my decision to make. But I believe that deciding whether or not to have your existing amalgam fillings removed and replaced must be your choice. Because I place great importance on Patient Education, I feel it is my responsibility to educate my patients about the important relationship of oral to overall health and to provide them with the information required for them to make educated decisions. That is why we provide information on our website and why we also encourage patients to go to the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT.org) to learn more about the pros and cons of removing, or keeping, these fillings. But again, we want to make it clear that the decision to remove and replace these fillings can only be made by you.
Call to schedule an appointment with your Sheboygan dentist to discuss whether your metal fillings should be replaced.