“Mercury” fillings (amalgam) replacement has been a controversial subject for a long time. At Natureza Dental Practice we do not believe that it is our role to dictate treatment to our patients so the information on our website is to help you consider the issue and reach the right decisions for your own health.
Many patients want amalgam fillings replaced due to worry about potential toxicity from high mercury content (about 50%) of amalgam filling materials. Others are concerned that amalgam is ugly, and therefore opt for the newer composite fillings because of their beauty.
From our own experience and from the study of several research articles we decided that amalgam fillings should not be used on our patients and our staff should not be exposed to further potential toxicity.
Health concerns about dental amalgam relate to the fact that mercury has been demonstrated to have toxic effects on living tissue, in particular nerve or neural tissue.
The debate revolves around whether the mercury or mercury compounds released from dental amalgams are at a level high enough to cause health problems or toxicity in healthy adults.
Sweden, Norway and Denmark have already banned dental amalgam, but it was primarily environmental concerns that lead to the change in legislation rather than the health concerns. There are significant environmental concerns regarding mercury emissions during preparation of amalgam and from the waste amalgam removed by dentists.
We do not see it as our role to recommend comprehensive and total amalgam removal and replacement to prevent or treat health disorders. We recognise that the replacement of dental mercury fillings will not necessarily guarantee a change in the health status of patients and would strongly recommend that all medical complaints be thoroughly investigated by a relevant medical practitioner.
We do however respect the individuals right to choose and will do our very best to help our patients gather all of the information necessary to make an informed choice on this subject.We respect your right to choose the most appropriate materials for your body.
We are committed to providing quality dental care in line with best practice and have spent time researching the recommended protocols for the safe removal and replacement of dental amalgams.
We offer a full range of mercury free dentistry and metal free dentistry.
Environmental Issues with Mercury Removal
It is known that heavy metals build up in the food chain so in essence waste products that we wash down the drain can eventually end up back in our food supply. The mercury in our environment is converted to methyl mercury in the sea and absorbed / consumed as part of feeding by fish and shellfish. This is the reason why certain fish species depending on their feeding patterns are known to have higher mercury levels in their tissues than others and therefore it is why pregnant women are advised to limit their consumption certain types of fish during pregnancy.
As we remove many amalgam fillings every week we take our environmental responsibility seriously and do everything we can to protect the environment. The large chunks of amalgam produced are collected in our first stage filtration. The smaller particles enter a high speed centrifugal separator that is highly efficient ant removing amalgam particles from our waste water. In all we filter, separate and remove nearly 99% of all of our amalgam waste by weight from our waste water before it leaves the building. By choosing new mercury free restorations you are reducing the volume of mercury waste that will need to be dealt with in the future.
If you would like to see some before and after photos please click here.