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some facts you many want to know

root canal

Root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth’s pulp, a small, thread-like tissue in the center of the tooth, sealing off the root canal.

dental bridges +

A bridge, also known as a fixed removable denture, is made to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be supported by natural teeth or implants.

 

dental implants +

Implants are devices that replace the roots of missing teeth. They are used to support crowns, bridges or dentures and are surgically placed in your jawbone.

dentures +

Dentures are natural looking and comfortable replacements for missing teeth that can easily be taken out and put back into your mouth.

dental veneers +

These are thin shells of porcelain that are bonded to the front of the teeth, providing a natural, attractive look. They are used to fix chipped, stained or worn down teeth.

dental crowns +

A crown is a tooth-shaped cover placed over a tooth that is badly damaged or decayed. A crown is made to look like your tooth. Many people call it a cap.

dental extractions

Teeth are extracted for a variety of reasons including deep decay, significant infection or to make room for all the teeth in your mouth.

 

mercury fillings

A mercury filling is a silver/grey filling that is usually placed in the molar and premolar teeth. It consists of a mixture of different metals including mercury, silver, tin and copper.

dental whitening

Tooth whitening lightens teeth and removes stains and discoloration. It is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look.

dental composite bonding

Composite Bonding is the application of a tooth-coloured composite resin to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured or discoloured tooth.

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mercuryfillings +

what is a mercury/silver filling?

It is a silver/grey filling that is usually placed in the molar and premolar teeth. It consists of a mixture of different metals namely,

Mercury – 50%
Silver – 28%
Tin – 14%
Copper – 8%

As you may notice, 50% of the filling consists of mercury.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve had mercury filling for years, why should I remove them?

Most of the mercury fillings that a person has in their teeth were placed many years ago. Those fillings are indeed very strong and will probably last for many years. The problem with these fillings is not the effect they have on the tooth but rather the effect they can have on the body.


what problems can mercury cause?

Mercury is the most toxic, non-radioactive element on the earth. Most medical and scientific researchers have called for a ban on the use of mercury in all products. However, the potential harmful effects of mercury fillings have been ignored by most government institutions. Due to its poisonous nature, mercury can adversely affect the immune, urinary, cardiac, respiratory and digestive systems. Under laboratory conditions, mercury has produced brain cell deterioration identical to that seen in victims of Alzheimer’s disease.


should I get my mercury filling removed?

Mercury vapour is continuously emitted from mercury fillings, which means that you are directly exposed to mercury every day. The output of mercury vapour can be intensified by the number of fillings present and other activities associated with the human mouth, such as chewing, teeth grinding and the consumption of hot liquids. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that even low levels of mercury cause measurable adverse health effects. The damaging effects of this exposure may not manifest for years or even decades but why wait for problems to occur.

The World Health Organization has concluded that dental fillings contribute more mercury to a person’s body than all other sources of mercury combined. No amount of exposure to mercury vapour can be considered harmless, especially considering its cumulative effect.



if mercury fillings are so bad for you why aren't they banned?

The governments of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark already banned the use of mercury fillings in dentistry back in 2009. Germany and Canada have limited their use for pregnant women and France, Finland and Austria have recommended that alternative dental materials be used for pregnant women.

In South Africa we are still allowed to use mercury fillings. Do these other countries know something we don’t? Why do some countries ban these fillings only in pregnant woman and children? Makes you think.



what are the disadvantages of removing mercury filling?

When removing a mercury filling you also remove a small portion of the surrounding tooth structure. This is done to insure that the new white filling binds to healthy enamel or dentine. White fillings tend to leave the tooth a little sensitive for a few days but that should settle within a few days. Another problem is that in certain cases the mercury filling is so big that you can’t place a normal white filling. In these cases you need to have a crown made.


won't I be exposed to mercury during the removal?

Unsafe removal of amalgam fillings can cause more mercury-related health problems to patients because mercury vapour is released in greater quantities as a result of drilling. For this reason, these fillings have to be removed utilizing specific protocols and specialised techniques.


is there a proper way to remove mercury fillings?

To prevent additional mercury exposure a dentist should follow the amalgam removal protocols:

 Utilizing an efficient suction system in the oral cavity with a special tip or its equivalent to contain amalgam particles and mercury vapours.


Operating a vacuum system at maximum efficiency.


Applying a rubber dam to isolate the teeth with the mercury fillings being removed.


Applying copious amounts of water to the filling during removal.


Removing the amalgam in large segments to minimize the generation of mercury vapour and amalgam particulate.


Using an additional suction unit to remove any mercury vapour.




I would like to do more research on this topic where should I look?

The internet is a fantastic source of information. You must be careful as to which website you visit. As with all controversial topics there will be websites that are for the removal of mercury fillings and some that are against it. Please make sure that you are going to reputable sources.

Here is a list of some interesting sites.

International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology – http://www.iaomt.org/

Dental Wellness Institute – http://dentalwellness4u.com/

Health24 – http://www.health24.com/medical/Condition_centres/777-792-3000-3088,49718.asp

SAFE Mercury Amalgam Removal – http://www.mercuryremoval.org/t