Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings
The most popular fillings some decades ago were amalgam fillings made of 50% mercury and 50% an alloy of silver, tin and copper. In the recent past concerns have been raised over the safety of mercury but the FDA have approved it’s continued use, the UK’s National Health Service continue to use them and millions of people have had them over the last 150 years with little evidence of harm.
We are all exposed to mercury in drinking water, the air, soil and food. People who have been exposed to high levels of mercury through their work, have shown anxiety, memory loss, irritability, fatigue and tiredness. In the past it was thought that the mercury in fillings was inert, that it didn’t do anything, recent research has shown that as it wear it evaporates and is then inhaled and combine with fatty parts of our body such as the brain. However, research also shows that the amount is so small that it is less than the normal exposure the person would get from the natural environment.
Not all dentists beleive that amalgam fillings are dangerous and so do not take added precautions when removing these filings. Dentists who accept that breathing in mercury may be dangerous take extra precautions and are known as mercury safe dentists.
Although many people would like their amalgam fillings replaced most mercury safe dentists would advise against this arguing that more mercury may be absorbed through the removal if the filling than it were left alone. Filling removal also inevitably damages a previously undamaged part of the tooth.
There are exceptions to this, people who are already exposed to high mercury levels such as people who work in an environment where mercury is used and people who eat a lot of sea food. Many people with motor neurone disease have their fillings replaced in the hope of reducing their symptoms stating that mercury is leached out of the filling and then accumulates in the central nervous system replicating the effects of MND.
Mercury Safe Clinics
For the above people it is advised that they have their fillings removed in mercury safe clinics where the dentist has the knowledge and there is equipment for safe removal. These clinics follow a protocol for safe removal of amalgam fillings:
- Drilling produces a lot of heat which can cause the mercury to vapourise. Drilling should therefore be kept to a minimum and the area should be kept as cool as possible . This is done using a water jet.
- To reduce drilling and also to prevent small mercury particles forming amalgam fillings are cut out in large chunks which are then removed using either a hand instrument or suction.
- Mercury safe dentists use a more powerful suction evacuator than they would normally use for non amalgam fillings.This is the most important part of the protocol.
- A rubber was previously used as a physical barrier but it is now known that mercury gas can pass through rubber so this is no longer thought of as useful. It also cannot be used for the teeth right at the back.
- While the filling is being removed the patient may wish to use an alternative air source via a mask, this can be offered at an extra charge. Whether using an alternative air source or not it is recommended to breathe through the nose whilst the removal is taking place.
BPA Free Fillings
BPA, or bisphenol A is found in plastics and some dental materials such as white composite fillings. There has been much controversy surrounding it as the molecule looks a little like oestrogen to the body and has been implicated in diseases affecting reproduction, cell growth and repair amongst others. Although the resarch is not conclusive some countries such as Canada and China have restricted its use in children.
Our clinic in Budapest offers a BPA free filling and cement, Kulzer Charisma Topaz.
It is probably not cost-effective to travel to Hungary to replace unsightly amalgam fillings if you have only a small number, but its worth considering having these replaced while having other work done.
Hungarian Dental Travel has been helping patients find the best possible treatment in Hungary since 2004. Now part of Hand Picked Clinics, we are expanding our country coverage with the aim of helping more people from all over the globe.
We can introduce you to some of the best dental clinics in Hungary (and beyond). We know the ins and outs of travelling abroad for treatment. We are not tied to one clinic and we are not dentists, just normal humans.
Every treatment plan is as individual as you are. You will get world class treatment at an affordable price. Our dentists are skilled at designing solutions that both save you money and focus on your long term oral health.
Send us a short message outlining what you want to acheive - restore your self-esteem, a perfect smile, being able to chew properly, your objective will be our aim as we do our best to guide you through.
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