Amalgam fillings have been in use for over 150 years, yet still they are, by far, use today. An amalgam consists of an alloy of silver, copper, tin and zinc mixed with an equal amount of mercury, to a paste, which will subsequently set and harden over the next 24 hours. Unfortunately, amalgam is now known to be NOT the inert substance about which dentists have been traditionally taught.
Throughout the life of a filling, mercury is lost in the form of vapor and abrasion particles from its surfaces and is absorbed into the body to accumulate in organs such as the liver, kidneys, brain and central nervous system. This rate of loss is greatly increased by such simple actions as chewing and brushing the teeth, which, after all, most of as indulge in from time to time. It is this slow but continuing build- up of mercury in body tissues which forms the basis of concern at the potential of amalgam to cause problems. Allied to this, are the common incidence of allergy to mercury and the electrical activity from metallic fillings; both of which may well be implicated in the process.
Some Research Findings
If the infection continues for more than 10 days, surgical invention is required to remove the graft. Typical regiments for antibiotics for the prevention of sequelae include 875mg amoxicillin and clavulanic acid BID for 7-10days, cephalexin 500mg q8h for 3 days, or clarithromycin 500mg BIDfor 3days. Of importance is that clindamycin has been shown ineffective in the prevention and treatment of sinus related infections. If post operative infection occurs, regiments include levofloxacin 500mg given 2 tabs on day 1 and 1 tab QD for 8days, moxifloxacin 400mg QD for 7-10 days, and in the case of severe infection metronidazole 500mg TID for 7-10days.
If you decided to have your amalgam fillings replaced, however, a strict protocol should be adhered to, in order to optimize the chances of recovery from any health problems which are influenced by the mercury in your body.
PRECAUTIONS FOR AMALGAM SENSITIVE PATIENTS WHO ARE TO HAVE REPLACEMENT FILLINGS
Good nutrition is vitally important in helping the body to eliminate, not only the mercury from the teeth, but also that which has been ‘locked into’ the body’s cells.
Unfortunately, because of the inadequacies of so many foodstuffs available nowadays, such supplements are necessary to ensure that the vitamins and minerals required are readily accessible. (Some patients may already be on a supplementation region from their nutritionist, in which case, he/she should be consulted first).
A quadrant will be removed at each appointment and it may be necessary to dress some of the teeth for a time before they are re-filled.
Whenever possible, the fillings will be removed under isolation by rubber dam. This effectively places the tooth outside the mouth, thus keeping to an absolute minimum any amalgam dust or mercury vapor which might otherwise be taken in during the process. Copious amounts of water and high volume suction will be used throughout.
In most cases, amalgams will be replaced with composite/ceramic materials in either build-up or inlay forms. With such a large number of different branded products on the market, with a selection of the best filling, base and lining materials, the preferred type of restorations will be selected.
It must be said that it is impossible to guarantee that removal of mercury amalgams will result in improvement of symptoms. It is very least; however, you can be certain that your mouth has been rid of one of the most toxic substances on the planet!