Mercury is a heavy metal which, under normal circumstances, is treated as a toxic substance that requires special handling and cannot be disposed of in public landfills and sewage systems because of the potential environmental impact. Yet mercury is a common component of traditional amalgam fillings, consisting of up to 50% of the actual filling. There is an obvious disconnect between these two facts: if mercury is such a toxic metal, why do we still use it in traditional dentistry. At the very least, this is a matter of personal health and becomes a question of whether or not you wish to expose yourself to a potential risk in your general dental care.
What is Mercury?
Mercury is a heavy metal which, according to the EPA, is a toxic substance that can cause significant cell degeneration in our bodies. In terms of dentistry, mercury is commonly used in fillings. However, once these fillings have been placed in our mouths, they have been known to deteriorate, essentially allowing the mercury material to enter the body. Once introduced internally, mercury accrues in a number of organs including nerve centers, the brain, the kidneys, and the liver. As the toxin accumulates, the cells in these tissues degenerate depending upon a number of factors specific to each individual.
While the ADA has yet to definitely discount the use of mercury-comprised feelings, it doesn’t take a grand leap of the imagination to deduce the potential risks of using mercury in traditional dentistry. The significant disconnect is that prior to placing these fillings in a patients, most dentists are required to them as toxic elements. The question ultimately becomes, then, why expose yourself to such a toxic material?
Why You Should Consider Mercury-Free Dentistry
Mercury-free dentistry is the practice whereby all of the fillings used do not contain mercury. Additionally, most dentists in mercury-free clinics have specific training in the proper removal and treatment of mercury-based fillings.
Those who suffer from chronic illnesses or diseases are strongly recommended to consider mercury-free dentistry because the presence of mercury within the body can compromise one’s immune system and cause significant tissue damage.
While its understandable for many to make personal decisions regarding their health and the potential risks they wish to expose themselves to, it should be noted that mercury-free dentistry is becoming increasing accepted with a number of industrialized nations (notably Norway and Sweden) placing strict regulations on the use of mercury-based fillings and the general roll of the toxin in dentistry. For your own safety, then, consider mercury-free dentist clinics as a viable alternative to the hazards posed by traditional dentistry practices.