Karen N. Clister DDS PC | 953 National Highway, LaVale, MD 21502 | Open Monday thru Friday: 7:30a - 5:00p (301) 729-1162 info@lavaledental.com

Silver Filling Removal

Many do not realize that “silver” amalgam fillings are 50% mercury. A large filling may contain as much mercury as a thermometer! Mercury vaporizes easily at room temperature, and in this state is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Inhaled mercury vapor is readily absorbed into the bloodstream.

Is there a health risk?

Mercury is the most toxic, non-radioactive element on earth. Due to its poisonous nature, mercury can adversely affect the immune, urinary, cardiac, respiratory, and digestive systems. In lab conditions, mercury has even produced brain cell deterioration identical to that seen in victims of Alzheimer’s disease.

Should I have my filings removed?

The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT) & the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine (IABDM) believe that you should, unless your physician deems otherwise. The damaging effects of exposure to mercury may not manifest for years or even decades, however, studies repeatedly demonstrate that even low levels of mercury cause measurable adverse health effects.

Proper way to remove mercury fillings?

To prevent additional exposure, IAOMT & IABDM dentists are properly trained in mercury filling removal, utilizing suction and vacuum systems and other equipment. Patients should inquire about mercury removal protocols when investigating this procedure.

Mercury is in every silver filling

Why choose an IAOMT / IABDM accredited dentist?

  • Knowledgeable in modern techniques of proper mercury filling removal

  • Trained and experienced in the selection of more bio-compatible dental materials

  • Networks with like-minded professionals to stay current with the latest research

  • Attends scientific symposiums on the subject

  • Works with physicians knowledgeable in testing for and detoxifying mercury burden

  • Recycles all used mercury with an amalgam separator to protect the environment

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the mercury in dental silver fillings (amalgams) really harmful?

After years of worldwide studies on animal and human exposure to mercury, there is no more controversy. The answer is yes; the mercury in silver fillings is a deadly poison. However, it is typically a “slow” poison, gradually leaching from the teeth to bio-accumulate in various tissues of the unfortunate silver filling-bearer, so it is commonly missed as a source of distress.Over time, mercury slowly deposits throughout the body and plays a major role in causing many troublesome, even life threatening symptoms. The final verdict (based on overwhelming consensus of worldwide medical opinion); for best health, remove all your silver fillings and replace them with bio-compatible fillings.

What can you do?

Almost every one of us is faced with the decision of what to do about silver fillings in our mouths. To make the wisest decision, you must first become thoroughly informed about mercury. Two insightful, well written books about the hidden risks and long term consequences of silver fillings (and their mercury payload) are The Toxic Time Bomb, by Sam Ziff and Are Your Dental Fillings Poisoning You? by Guy Fasciana, D.M.D., available through your local book store.

Two excellent videos detail the story of mercury and its trail of misery for those with silver fillings: a special video from the TV program “60 Minutes” entitled “Is There Poison In Your Mouth?” (about 20 minutes long) and also the well documented BBC video from England on silver-mercury fillings (about 45 minutes).

If I have my silver fillings removed, will my chronic illness (severe allergies, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc.) go away?

There is no guarantee that any illness will be eradicated by the removal of your amalgam fillings. Mercury mainly affects the body by altering enzyme systems. As it accumulates, it can affect the brain, heart, digestive system, or any other system in the body. In the brain, it attaches to the beta tubulin of the neurons and alters them, making them permanently non-functional.

After mercury detoxification by one of the physicians with whom I work, many people feel significantly better. I must point out that some do not feel any changes at all. Mercury burden may be the cause or just a contributing factor to your illness. It may not be related to your illness at all. It’s simply another important consideration when dealing with chronic problems.

What do you use in place of silver fillings?

We use posterior composites or crowns. If the original silver filling is not too large, then a posterior composite is used. If the old filling is large and the tooth is compromised, then a crown may be necessary.

Clinical Research Associates (an independent organization) has been testing the strength of posterior composites. The newest composites are about 5 years old. After 4 years of comparative testing, composites are showing equal strength and durability to that of amalgams.

Do you take any special precautions to protect the patient when removing old silver fillings? I understand mercury is released during removal.

Yes, mercury is released when removing an old amalgam. It is very important to minimize the patient’s exposure to mercury vapor. This is accomplished in several ways:

  1. The operatory has an open design that allows for maximum movement of air, so mercury vapor doesn’t accumulate.
  2. There is a large environmental air system that further enhances air flow, as well as providing air filtration.
  3. A “mercury capturing” system positioned several inches from the mouth, prevents re-inhalation of mercury vapor.
  4. Very high speed evacuation system.
  5. We use an adapter that attaches to the high speed suction called “Clean Up.” The entire tooth is enclosed in a plastic housing. Mercury vapor is reduced 100 – 200 times compared to the traditional wand attachment.
  6. Copious amounts of distilled water from the high speed hand piece help to reduce mercury vapor released into the air.
  7. The “silver” filling is removed in sections to minimize grinding.
What if I have a chronic illness?

If you have a chronic illness, I will ask you to see one of the physicians with whom I work. He/She will diagnose the level of mercury in your body. They will then start you on a program to help boost your immune system, beginning the process of detoxification. Following the removal of your fillings, they will employ different therapies to remove the remaining toxins from your body.

It will be recommended that you have a materials reactivity test performed. This is an antigen-antibody test of different dental materials. This test enables me to choose dental materials that are non-reactive to you, and choose those that are most compatible with your body.

Does a biological dentist look at gum disease differently?

We are very concerned about the level of gum disease in this country. 90% of Americans have gingivitis (inflammation of the soft tissue with no bone damage), and 75% have some stage of periodontitis (supporting bone loss).

The gum tissue should be firm, with no bleeding. A person that has significant gingival bleeding increases their risk of a heart attack by 168%. There is also an increased risk of pre-term, low birth weight; diabetes, type II; and kidney disease. Every time food is chewed, oral bacteria is pushed into the blood stream through tiny openings in the gum tissue.

We will emphasize the need to have the gum tissues healthy, prior to the removal of their fillings.

What will it cost to have my silver fillings replaced?

Cost cannot be determined without an examination. Some people have a few, small fillings, while others have many, very large ones. It must be determined if a posterior composite or crown will be necessary.

The fee for posterior composites depends upon the size and the surface covered by the old filling.

Don't Hesitate to Ask!

If we didn’t answer all of your questions, feel free to drop us a line anytime.