Mercury Free, Mercury Safe
Considering replacing your amalgam fillings?
Dr. Patricia Braga and the team members at Cahill Dental Care practice dentistry in a Mercury Free and Safe environment in Minneapolis, MN since 1983. The controversy over the safety of mercury and mercury fillings in the dental office continues but Dr. Braga takes the position that minimizing exposure to mercury is prudent. At Cahill exposure to mercury and mercury vapors is minimized by the use of an independent oxygen source, chairside scavengers with HEPA and charcoal filtering and rubber dam oral barriers. As a State-of-Art Dental practice, Cahill Dental Care is committed to providing patients with the safest, most effective and comfortable care available in modern dentistry.
In the summer of 2009, the FDA concluded that in spite of their position that the mercury content levels in dental amalgam fillings are not high enough to cause harm in patients, they classified it as a class 2 device, meaning it has moderate risk.
The FDA recommends that amalgam fillings not be used in patients who are pregnant or have a known mercury allergy When handling mercury amalgam materials dentists must have proper ventilation.
A 2006 Zogby International poll of 2,590 US adults found that 72% of respondents were not aware that mercury was a main component of dental amalgam and 92% of respondents would prefer to be told about mercury in dental amalgam before receiving it as a filling. A number of dentists (including a member of the FDA's Dental Products Panel) believe that there is an obligation to inform patients that amalgam contains mercury.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that amalgam is estimated to contribute 50% of mercury exposure in adults. A Swedish study of autopsies examined the mercury levels in brains and kidneys and found a strong correlation with the number of amalgam fillings. A German study found that mercury urinary excretion was significantly higher in those with dental amalgam fillings.
The WHO reports that mercury from amalgam and laboratory devices accounts for 53% of total mercury emissions, and that one-third of the mercury in the sewage system comes from dental amalgam flushed down the drain.
So many teeth and fillings have to be redone because teeth fracture and much of that is because so much of the tooth was cut away to get that silver filling to hold.
The new replacement, called composites, look more like a tooth, bond better and make the tooth stronger — but they are also more expensive.