Dr. Oz Enters Mercury Filling Debate

Saturday, March 30th, 2013, 7:14 pm

The debate over mercury amalgam fillings has raged in the dental community for years. In the US about half of dentists use mercury amalgam fillings and the other half do not. Some European countries, including Sweden, have banned the use of mercury amalgam fillings for health reasons and because of environmental concerns. The mercury waste from these fillings can find its way into the water supply and mercury waste is considered extremely hazardous.

Dr. Oz recently had an episode that was all about the dangers of “silver fillings“.  Amalgam fillings are not made of silver – they are about 50% mercury mixed with a bunch of other metals. The danger of this mercury content is what Dr. Oz and his experts were discussing. Mercury is a neurotoxin, it attacks your nervous system and can cause symptoms ranging from tremors to mood swings. Memory loss and fatigue are common signs of mercury toxicity.

The American Dental Association feels that amalgam is a safe and cost effective restoration material. It is cheap and easy to use and that is why so many high volume dental clinics still use the stuff – but as Dr. Oz’s guest explained, there are so many better filling materials available today. Why use a material that was invented 150 years ago? Newer material actually bond to the teeth to strengthen it even though it has a filling. Amalgam fillings, in contract, weaken the tooth structure and tend to expand and shrink when exposed to hot or cold, further weakening the tooth. A tooth colored restoration not only looks better, it is better for your tooth structure and your health – isn’t that worth a small extra price?

One question asked was “Should you have all your old amalgam fillings removed”? One audience member had removed her fillings and many of her symptoms resolved or lessened. Because mercury fillings break down over time you may have to get them replaced as the years go by. When there is decay below the filling, when the filling has cracked or deteriorated it should be replaced.

Mercury vapors can be released by chewing or grinding your teeth. If you grind your teeth you may want to watch this demonstration of the release of mercury vapors simply caused by brushing your teeth. This may be one of the few reasons to go ahead and replace your old fillings immediately.  Another reason may be unresolved health issues that no one seems to be able to diagnose – you may simply be more sensitive to mercury than others.

Find out more about your options for mercury free dental care and how Wilbanks Smile Center is protecting our environment from mercury waste by contacting us at 706-886-9439 today.

 

 

 

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