The Case Against Mercury Fillings

Mercury Fillings

Dental health is an essential aspect of overall wellness, and the choices we make about our dental care can have a significant impact on our long-term health. At Wellness BioDentistry, we are committed to providing holistic dentistry, an approach that prioritizes the well-being of the entire body while addressing dental concerns. In this context, one important decision involves the type of dental filling used to restore teeth affected by cavities. Historically, mercury fillings, also known as amalgam fillings or silver fillings, were a popular choice for dental restorations due to their durability and affordability. However, concerns about the health risks associated with mercury exposure have led us to prefer alternative options. In this blog, we will discuss the drawbacks of mercury and amalgam fillings and explain why we advocate for the use of resin fillings as a safer, more aesthetically pleasing alternative.

Dental amalgam fillings, inorganic mercury

What Are Mercury Fillings?

Mercury fillings, also known as dental amalgam fillings, are a type of dental restoration used to repair cavities and restore damaged teeth suffering from tooth decay. These fillings are made from dental amalgam, a mixture of metals that includes elemental mercury, silver, tin, and copper, among other trace metals. The mercury content, typically around 50%, serves to bind the other metals together into a durable and malleable material.

Dental amalgam has been in use for over a century and has historically been a popular choice for dental restorations due to its strength and longevity. Its application is also straightforward: once the cavity is cleaned and prepared, the amalgam mixture is packed into the cavity, where it hardens quickly to form a resilient filling.

While mercury fillings have a long history of successful use, concerns have arisen over the potential health risks associated with mercury exposure, as well as the environmental impact of mercury waste. These factors have prompted many dental practices, including ours, to reconsider the use of amalgam fillings in favor of safer alternatives.

Concerns with Mercury Fillings

Mercury fillings, while historically used in dental restorations, pose several concerns that can impact both individual health and the environment. Here, we outline the primary issues associated with mercury fillings:

dental amalgam mercury, mercury in dental amalgam

Toxicity

The most significant concern with mercury fillings is the potential health risks associated with mercury exposure. Mercury is a known toxic substance, and although amalgam fillings contain a stabilized form of mercury, there is still the possibility of mercury vapor being released during the placement, wear, or removal of fillings. Prolonged exposure to mercury vapor can pose health risks, particularly to the nervous system, kidneys, and other organs.

Allergic Reactions

While allergic reactions to mercury fillings are less common, they can occur. Some individuals may experience sensitivity to the metals in amalgam, leading to localized irritation or allergic symptoms. In such cases, the replacement of mercury fillings with alternative materials may be necessary.

Environmental Impact

Mercury fillings can contribute to environmental pollution, particularly when they are removed or disposed of improperly. Mercury waste can contaminate water and soil, posing risks to wildlife and human health. Dental practices that use mercury fillings must adhere to strict protocols for safe handling and disposal to minimize environmental impact.

Aesthetic Considerations

Another concern with mercury fillings is their aesthetic appearance. Due to their dark, metallic color, mercury fillings do not blend naturally with the tooth’s color, making them noticeable when a person smiles or speaks. This can be a source of self-consciousness for patients seeking a more natural-looking smile.

For these reasons, we advocate for the use of resin fillings, which offer a safer, more aesthetically pleasing alternative to mercury fillings.

The Holistic Dentistry Perspective

Holistic dentistry is an approach to oral health that views the mouth as an integral part of the body, with a strong connection to overall wellness. Rather than focusing solely on treating dental problems, holistic dentists consider the impact of dental treatments on the entire body and aim to promote the patient’s long-term health and well-being.

Why Holistic Dentists Discourage Mercury Fillings

Holistic dentists are typically opposed to the use of mercury fillings for several reasons:

  • Toxicity Concerns: Holistic dentists prioritize minimizing exposure to toxic substances. Since mercury is a known toxin, they prefer to avoid using materials that contain mercury in dental treatments.
  • Biocompatibility: Holistic dentists seek out biocompatible materials that are well-tolerated by the body and unlikely to cause adverse reactions. Mercury fillings can pose a risk of allergic reactions and are not as biocompatible as other materials.
  • Environmental Responsibility: Holistic dentists are conscious of the impact of dental materials on the environment. Mercury fillings contribute to environmental pollution when improperly disposed of, and holistic dentists strive to reduce this impact.

Focus on Overall Patient Health and Safety

The holistic approach emphasizes the safety and health of the patient in all aspects of dental care. This includes considering the potential long-term effects of dental treatments on other parts of the body and opting for materials and methods that are safe and beneficial for the patient’s overall well-being.

By prioritizing the use of alternative materials such as resin fillings, holistic dentists aim to provide safe, effective, and aesthetically pleasing treatments that support the patient’s comprehensive health and align with their overall wellness goals.

Advantages of Resin Fillings

Resin fillings, also known as composite fillings, offer several advantages over traditional mercury fillings. These benefits make them a preferred choice in holistic dentistry and modern dental practices. Let’s explore some of the key advantages:

resin filling, mercury poisoning

Biocompatibility

Resin fillings are made from a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles, which are more biocompatible than mercury amalgam. This means they do not pose the toxicity risks associated with mercury and are less likely to cause allergic reactions or other adverse health effects. Their safe, non-toxic nature makes resin fillings a superior option for maintaining overall patient health.

Aesthetics

One of the most significant advantages of resin fillings is their natural appearance. These fillings can be color-matched to the shade of the patient’s teeth, resulting in a restoration that blends seamlessly with the surrounding enamel. This allows for a more pleasing and natural smile, which is especially important for teeth that are visible when speaking or smiling.

Durability

While resin fillings may not be as strong as mercury fillings, advances in dental technology have improved the strength and longevity of resin materials. When properly placed, resin fillings can withstand the pressure of biting and chewing and have a reasonable lifespan. They offer a durable solution for restoring teeth and maintaining dental function.

Preservation of Tooth Structure

Resin fillings require less removal of healthy tooth structure compared to mercury fillings. This is because the material can be applied in layers and shaped precisely to fit the cavity. By preserving more of the natural tooth, resin fillings support the long-term health and integrity of the tooth and help to prevent further damage.

Overall, resin fillings provide a safe, aesthetically pleasing, and effective option for dental restorations, aligning with the holistic approach to oral health and patient wellness.

Conclusion

The choice between mercury fillings and resin fillings can have significant implications for your overall health and well-being. While mercury fillings have been used in dentistry for many years, concerns about their potential health risks, environmental impact, and aesthetic drawbacks have prompted a shift toward safer alternatives. Resin fillings offer a more biocompatible, natural-looking, and durable solution that aligns with the principles of holistic dentistry.

If you have mercury fillings and are considering replacing them, it’s important to seek the expertise of a qualified holistic dentist who can safely remove the mercury fillings and restore your teeth with resin fillings. This careful approach ensures your safety and promotes your overall health.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of resin fillings or would like to discuss the safe removal of your mercury fillings, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our holistic dental practice. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing personalized, patient-centered care that supports your long-term health and wellness.

Contact us today to book an appointment and take the next step towards a healthier, brighter smile.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Scroll to Top
Skip to content