by Dr. Greg Wych
Director of the Children's Dental Group of SC
Dental amalgam fillings have been placed in trusting dental patients since 1830. Imagine, still using a technology that dates back before the War Between The States!
Many people do not realize that “silver” amalgam fillings are as much as 50% mercury. A large filling may contain as much mercury as a thermometer!
Mercury vaporizes easily at room temperature and is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Inhaled mercury vapor is readily absorbed into the bloodstream.
The World Health Organization has concluded that dental fillings contribute more mercury to a person’s body than all other sources of mercury combined. Mercury is more toxic than lead, cadmium, and even arsenic! It is the most toxic, nonradioactive element on earth!
Mercury is continually released from mercury dental fillings in the form of vapor and abraded particles. This process is stimulated and can be increased as much as 15 fold by chewing, brushing, or consuming hot liquids. The World Health Organization concluded that the daily intake of mercury from amalgam fillings exceeded the combined daily intake of mercury derived from air, water, and food (including fish).
Most medical and scientific researchers have called for a ban on the use of mercury in all products. Most of the European community has banned dental mercury amalgam fillings for many years. The American Dental Association admitted in 1984 that mercury is released from amalgam fillings, but still maintains that the fillings are safe despite volumes of scientific studies, which show that the levels released are not safe. However, the potential harmful effects of mercury fillings have been ignored by the US Government.
Due to its poisonous nature, mercury can adversely affect the immune, urinary, cardiac, respiratory and digestive systems. Under laboratory conditions, mercury has produced brain cell deterioration identical to that seen in victims of Alzheimer’s Disease.
IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology) is a group of dentists who recognize the impact of toxic materials and relate it to dental and general health.
The IAOMT believes that you should have your silver fillings removed, unless your physician deems otherwise.
The damaging effects from the exposure to mercury fillings may not be evident for many years. And some patients are more susceptible than others.
Amazingly, only 6% of dentists are “mercury free”. Dentists who are mercury free, can often restore decayed teeth with tooth colored “composite fillings”. Composites are similar to plastic, and are bonded into the tooth. For small or medium sized fillings, they can last nearly as long as a silver filling. They are difficult to do properly, often requiring a latex type barrier called a “rubber dam”.
If the tooth requires a larger restoration, the placement of a “permanent restoration” like a crown or onlay is usually best. These restorations can be made with a completely ceramic material, and bonded into place.
Dr. Gregory J Wych DDS is the only IAOMT in the Midlands. His practice has been “mercury free” for over 12 years.
He can also be heard monthly on 94.3 FM The River in Columbia, as a guest expert on dental