With the rise of holistic and biocompatible dentistry, many people are asking themselves: Should I have my silver fillings removed?
Silver dental fillings, also called dental amalgams, have been used for over 150 years. In the past, they were considered the best option for restoring teeth because they are strong and durable. However, silver fillings contain mercury, which has been linked to health problems such as neurological disorders and kidney disease.
The term “silver filling” is actually misleading, as there is a relatively small amount of actual silver involved — instead, silver fillings are made up of tin, copper, zinc and at least 50 percent liquid mercury.
Mercury is understood today to be a toxic heavy metal, which is why dental amalgam fillings are actually outlawed for use in pregnant women, nursing mothers and children in many areas of Europe.
Today, there are safer alternatives to silver fillings such as composite resin fillings. Composite resin is made of a mix of glass or quartz filler and plastic resin. It is tooth-colored and looks more natural than silver fillings.
If you’re considering silver filling removal, it’s important to consult with a holistic dentist who can safely remove them without causing damage.
Is It Safe to Remove Silver Fillings?
If performed by a trained professional, removing silver fillings is a safe procedure. Holistic dentists use special techniques and tools to remove amalgam fillings without harming the teeth or releasing mercury vapor into the air.
Mercury exposure can cause a variety of health problems, including neurological problems, kidney damage and respiratory issues.
Pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of mercury vapor.
Before having your mercury amalgam fillings removed, be sure to ask your dentist about their training and experience in removing amalgam fillings.
Why Are Silver Fillings Dangerous?
The reason mercury removal can be dangerous if not performed by a qualified specialist is the same reason it is dangerous to have mercury fillings in the first place — it all comes down to the release of mercury vapors.
Even if your fillings are intact, they can still release small amounts of mercury vapor when you chew or drink hot beverages. Over time, this exposure can lead to health problems like neurological problems, kidney damage and respiratory issues.
Neurological problems caused by mercury fillings and mercury poisoning include:
- Memory loss
- Mood swings
If you have any concerns about your silver fillings, it is best to speak with a qualified healthcare professional. A good place to start is by finding a biological dentist in your area who has experience in removing amalgam fillings.
The Benefits of Resin Fillings
The whole point of removing mercury fillings is to replace them with a product that is more biocompatible, which is just another way of saying “safe for your body”.
Resin fillings (sometimes called white fillings or tooth-colored fillings) are made from a type of plastic that is infused with glass particles. This makes them much stronger than traditional plastic fillings, which means they can be used in areas of your mouth that experience a lot of wear and tear (such as the chewing surfaces of your back teeth).
Resin fillings are also much less likely to cause cracking and other forms of damage to your teeth. They can even help support a tooth that has been weakened by decay or injury.
Installing resin fillings is also safer for your teeth; since amalgam fillings have no adhesive qualities, they have to be forced or wedged into place — this causes micro-fractures in the tooth, which are great places for bacteria and plaque to hang out and thrive. Amalgam fillings also expand and contract with temperature changes, causing further micro-fractures throughout your years of having them.
Resin fillings are naturally adhesive, so their installation is far less forceful. They also don’t expand and contract with temperature changes the way resin fillings do.
Finally, resin fillings look and feel just like your natural tooth material, so they don’t cause that “metal mouth” look that a lot of people don’t like.
Why Holistic Dentistry Is The Better Option
If you’re interested in getting rid of your silver fillings and restoring your smile, find a local holistic dentist. They will ensure safe mercury removal and replacement with a biocompatible alternative.
Your body is a uniform structure, so healthy options for your mouth mean greater health for your entire body.