The Care that you Need...by People that you Trust.
J.Thomas Russell DDS
1030 Xenia Avenue,Yellow Springs, Ohio
Call: (937) 767-7731
How to Find the Right Dentist for You
The Food and Drug Administration's Web site recently changed its statement on amalgam.
The site previously said that government agencies "have found no scientific studies that demonstrate dental amalgam harms children or adults." It now says that mercury in fillings "may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses."
It also states that "Pregnant women and persons who may have a health condition that makes them more sensitive to mercury exposure, including individuals with existing high levels of mercury bioburden, should not avoid seeking dental care, but should discuss options with their health practitioner."
Millions of Americans have cavity fillings made of amalgam, a blend of about 50 percent mercury, a neurotoxin, plus tin, silver and other metals.
(Fillings called "silver" are actually an amalgamation of silver and mercury.) Although they've been widely used for more than 150 years, some people say amalgam fillings can emit mercury, causing damage to the brain, kidneys or nervous system.
Several studies published in medical journals have linked amalgam fillings to increased levels of bodily mercury.
A recently settled lawsuit, filed against the Food and Drug Administration by a group led by an organization called Moms Against Mercury, will require the FDA to complete its unfinished process of reviewing and possibly reclassifying amalgam fillings by next July. Now a Class I device, amalgam might be reclassified to Class II, which means that special controls would be issued governing its use. Those could be anything from simply requiring that patients be notified of the potential risks of mercury before receiving fillings to restricting amalgam's use in vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and small children.
Should you avoid amalgam for new fillings? It's not a bad idea. Should you have your old ones taken out? It depends; the dental association doesn't recommend that. Many dentists will remove and replace fillings, but the removal must be done carefully.
Here is a good website that discusses the alternatives to Silver/Mercury Fillings.
International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
Revoving Mercury/Silver Filling Safely
First in every concerned doctor's mind is the protection of the patient from additional exposure to mercury. This is especially true of the mercury toxic patient. The mercury toxic patient may have been exposed to varying amounts of mercury from diet, environment, employment or from mercury/silver dental fillings. All forms are cumulative and can contribute to the body burden. The goal of this preferred procedure is to minimize any additional exposure of the patient, ourselves, or staff to mercury.
During chewing the patient is exposed to intraoral levels which are several times the EPA allowable air concentration. 2 During the removal or placement of amalgam the patient can be exposed to amounts which are a thousand times greater than the EPA allowable concentration.3 Once the drill touches the filling temperature increases immediately vaporizing the mercury component of the alloy. There are 8 steps to greatly reducing everyone's exposure.
1. Keep the fillings cool
All removal must be done under cold water spray with copious amounts of water.
Once the removal has begun, the mercury vapor will be continuously released from the tooth.
2. Use a high volume evacuator
Therefore, a high volume evacuator tip should be kept near the tooth (1/2 inch) at all times to evacuate this vapor from the area of the patient. Polishing amalgam can create very dangerous levels of mercury and should be avoided especially for the mercury toxic patient.
3. Provide an alternative air source
All patients having amalgam removed or placed should be provided with an alternative air source and instructed to not breathe through their mouth during treatment. A nasal hood such as is used with the nitrous oxide analgesia equipment is excellent. Air is best and oxygen is acceptable although not required. If just air is used it should be clean and free of mercury vapor preferably from outside the dental office.
4. Immediately dispose of the mercury alloy
Particles of mercury alloy should be washed and vacuumed away as soon as they are generated. The filling should be sectioned and removed in large pieces to reduce exposure.
At present the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) has approved removal both with and without the use of a rubber dam. Some evidence exist to support both views since high levels of mercury and amalgam particles can be found under the dam. All members are agreed that whether or not a rubber dam is used the patient should be instructed to not breathe through their mouth or swallow the particles. Some experts feel that it is better to remove the amalgam first and then apply the dam if needed for restorative procedures.
5. Lavage, and change gloves
After the fillings have been removed, take off the rubber dam if one was used and lavage the patients mouth for at least 30 seconds with cold water and vacuum. Remove your gloves and replace them with a new pair. If a restorative procedure is next then reapply a new dam and proceed.
6. Immediately clean patient
Immediately change patient's protective wear and clean their face.
7. Consider nutritional support
Consider appropriate nutritional support before, during and after removal.
8. Keep room air pure
Install room air purifiers or ionizers and fans for everyone's well being.
Patient to take 1000 mg Vitamin C three times a day for two days before and five days after Silver Mercury filling removal.