Amalgam fillings are one of the most common dental fillings used today. They are cheaper and are more likely to be covered by dental insurances. But what many dentists are not telling you is that amalgam is about 50% mercury, a toxic heavy metal known to contribute to a vast array of diseases including neurological problems and even cancer.
While many dentists in the U.S. are switching to mercury-free fillings, there is no official U.S. law restricting or banning their use. However, the European Union made news in recent years by announcing a landmark amalgam ban, which hopefully will pave a way for a more bans around the world in the future.
The was first implemented in July 2018, as the fillings began to be phased out in the European Union (27 nations, nearly 500 million people) to use in children under the age of 16, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women.
While many would like to see it banned for use in adults as well, banning it for use in children is a vital first step, as mercury is most destructive to the children’s neurological development.
Since the ban, governments are encouraging dentists to avoid amalgam use in the most vulnerable of population groups, especially children.
The media has extensively covered the issue, and changes to insurance programs are being made to encourage the use of mercury-free fillings.
According to a report from Healthcare Without Harm, as of 2019, amalgams were only approved for use in pre-dosed encapsulated form, and mercury will “no longer be an option for dental practitioners.”
As the president of the World Alliance of Mercury-Free Dentistry Charlie Brown said: “The children of Europe have won. The next generation of European will be safe from mercury dental fillings.”
Many believe the next step is banning amalgam fillings in the U.S. banning them for the whole population, adults and children — but is it possible? More and more advocates are speaking out against what they believe is a harmful and unnecessary practice.
“[This ban] is an open acknowledgment that mercury fillings should not have a place in our society,” said Philippe Vandendaele of Health Care Without Harm Europe.
Meanwhile, if you have amalgam fillings, it is recommended to remove them safely, as well as to find a mercury-free dentist to avoid getting new toxic fillings in the future.
Do You Have Amalgam-Fillings? Remove Them Safely
Multiple studies have found amalgam fillings to cause insomnia, headaches, high blood pressure, mood swings, anxiety, weakness, muscle twitching, impaired vision, and neurological problems.
(These studies’ findings are summarized in lengthy report by International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology or IAOMT).
Concerns of many dentists over the toxicity of amalgam can also be read in “It’s All in Your Head: The Link Between Mercury Amalgams and Illness,” a book by Dr. Hal Huggins about the connection between mercury fillings and illness.
It has been estimated that in 67.2 million people, the mercury in their body is above safe levels because of amalgam fillings.
It’s often the stories of real people from these millions that open our eyes to amalgam’s damage.
Kris Homme was diagnosed with macular degeneration at the age 33, an incredibly young age for such a disease. Later in her 40s, chronic fatigue, and chemical sensitivities made her housebound. All her symptoms fit into the mercury-poisoning description, which she realized came from her many amalgam fillings.
Kris is not alone in her story. There are hundreds of personal stories similar to her.
Whether you have noticeable negative health effects from your amalgam fillings or not, it is highly recommended that you get the removed, but do so safely.
Find a dentist who will follow all of the safety procedures when dealing with mercury filings.
The IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology) recommends the following safety protocol:
- A dental dam should be used
- Patient’s skin and clothing should be protected by a barrier
- Patient should wear a nasal mask in order to not inhale any mercury vapor
- Amalgam should be removed in as large pieces as possible
- Patient’s mouth should be rinsed out with waster as well as chlorella or charcoal to absorb any heavy metals before and after the procedure
You can find a dentist to do the procedure thoroughly through the IAOMT search system.
There Are Better Options For Dental Fillings
“Amalgam is a primitive polluting device. It is technically inferior to today’s modern alternatives. Dentistry’s amalgam era is over,” said Graeme Munro-Hall of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry.
There are many different types of filling much safer than amalgam (although none is completely non-toxic). Composite resin fillings are a common alternative, but these are made from a type of plastic. While much less toxic than mercury, this plastic may contain BPA. Other options are gold, porcelain, and glass ionomer. Gold and porcelain both are mixed with metals, such as aluminum. Glass ionomer fillings contain a type of polymer. All of which are not ideal, but significantly better than amalgam.
However, better options are also on the way. Currently, holistic dentistry is aimed at avoiding cavities and repairing teeth naturally using remineralization tools, herbs, and diet, instead of drilling.
More about the nutritional aspect of repairing teeth is described in “Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition.”
Meanwhile, scientists have been working on a completely new technique that can put a stop to drilling altogether. Instead, it offers a way to rebuild teeth through Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralization (EAER). The treatment sends minerals directly into the damaged tooth, repairing the enamel and reversing the decay. Scientists hope this treatment will become available in 2017.
Find a Mercury-Free, Amalgam-Free Dentist
To a find a dentist that avoids amalgam, as well as fluoride, and other potentially toxic dental procedures, you can find options by searching for “holistic” or “biologic” dentists in your area.
You can also use Dr. Tom McGuire’s Mercury-Safe Dentist Directory.