For many years, amalgam fillings were often used when it came to the creation of dental fillings. Now it has come to light that the malleable metal used to make the filling material is made up of almost 50% mercury. This poses a huge health risk for both the patient who has those fillings in place, as well as the dental professionals who work to remove them.
Mercury is Toxic
Mercury is extremely toxic and even one filling can leach small amounts of the metal into your bloodstream. There are numerous noticeable symptoms associated with amalgam toxicity in your body. The severity of your symptoms will depend on how old the fillings are and how many of them are in your mouth.
The most common symptoms associated with amalgam fillings made with mercury include:
- Joint aches and pains
- Muscle weakness
- Soreness in the muscles
- Chronic fatigue
Removing It Safely
When mercury fillings are removed, they can release tiny particles of mercury dust that become airborne and can be breathed in by the dental professionals in the area.
Several precautions are taken before amalgam fillings are removed such as:
- The procedure must be performed in a well-ventilated room.
- A special receptacle must be used to hold the mercury/silver amalgam that is removed.
- Protective gowns, face shields, and glasses must be worn by the dental staff and the patient must be covered and protected as much as possible.
- The patient should be given a wash made with charcoal or other neutralizing substances to prevent the patient from swallowing or ingesting the amalgam or its dust.
If you have silver/mercury amalgam fillings and have concerns about their safety, consult your family dentist and discuss your options. You can request to have them replaced by a composite material if you prefer.