If I asked you to suck on a bit of mercury for a couple of years, would you do it?
But the truth is, many of us already are and we don’t think twice about it.
If you are like me, you aren’t reading about mercury fillings for fun. Maybe you’ve been feeling shitty lately and are wondering if it’s normal. Maybe you’ve heard about the dangerous effects of mercury in the body, or maybe you already have an appointment with your SMART dentist. Either way, we’ll cover everything you need to know about amalgam fillings, their effects, information on removal, and how to protect yourself.
What are Amalgam Fillings?
Amalgam fillings—also called silver fillings—have been used in dentistry for more than a century. When they were first used, the FDA was not required to test for safety the same way it is today. Today, Mercury is considered by the WHO as one of the top ten chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern and yet they are still used in dental work every day.
A 2011 risk assessment estimated that 122 million Americans have gotten higher doses of mercury than the safety threshold, likely from their dental fillings.
Believe it or not, mercury fillings have been a political debate for decades now and are banned in other countries. However, they are still being used in the United States. The most important step is for patients to be proactive about their own health concerns.
How Much Mercury is in Amalgam Filling?
There’s a big difference between organic mercury, found in fish, and inorganic mercury, which comes from dental fillings. Inorganic mercury is toxic in any form and most people don’t realize their amalgam fillings are actually 50 percent inorganic mercury. Since anything above 0 parts per billion (ppb) of mercury is toxic, it’s imperative to take proper precautions.
Should I Remove My Amalgam Fillings?
Mercury vapor is known to be released from the moment your fillings were installed. Every minute you spend brushing, cleaning, clenching or chewing with your teeth is another level of exposure.
This mercury affects our blood, urine, and brains and can have serious effects. The mercury in fillings has been linked to, “risks for Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, infertility, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and many other adverse health conditions,” said Dr. Tammy DeGregorio, President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).
You can actually take a Hair Test Mineral Analysis (HTMA) that shows the minerals in your body and how they affect you. I took this test on my own and discovered that I was in fact detoxing mercury out of my system through my hair. This was proof enough to me that it was time to act.
Is Removing Mercury Amalgam Fillings Dangerous?
The removal of amalgams is a risky process. The only way to remove them is by drilling into the filling and as they break apart the exposure increases.
This is why dentists who remove amalgam fillings must be certified in the procedure. Amalgams must be removed using special equipment and precautions.
In this video, they create a controlled study to measure mercury exposure levels during extraction. OSHA requires that the only permissible exposure limit (PEL) to mercury is 100ug/m3. The peak level of mercury vapor during one removal is almost 2500us/m3.
How Much Does it Cost?
Unfortunately, mercury fillings are pretty cheap to put in, but cost a pretty penny to take out. Safely drilling out the fillings can cost hundreds of dollars. This is partly because of the extensive process and the cost of disposing of the mercury-contaminated waste. I found a dentist that used the SMART method and it ended up costing me around $500 to have my two fillings removed. That may seem like a lot, but the peace of mind was worth it to me. Since you shouldn’t really do any heavy metal detoxes until your amalgam fillings are out, I knew I would have them removed eventually.
How Do They Remove the Fillings?
When removing mercury amalgam fillings, the dentist must take steps to minimize further exposure to both himself, his office, staff, and of course, the patient. This process is known as the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART). The SMART technique includes both adequate equipment and appropriate training to be completely effective.
First, the office must have adequate ventilation with a powerful suction device called a high-volume evacuator that removes amalgam particles from the air. Next, the patient, doctors, and staff should wear a protective covering. Third, the mouth should be thoroughly rinsed and vacuumed after the amalgam has been removed. Last, the dentist will then replace the amalgam fillings with composite materials, which are safe and durable. At that point, the process is the same as that of any other conventional filling.
What are the Alternatives?
Alternatives include composite resin, glass ionomer, porcelain, and gold, among other options. Most consumers choose direct composite fillings because the white coloring matches the tooth better and the cost is considered moderate. In the past, a common argument against composite fillings was that they were not as durable as amalgam. However, recent studies have debunked this claim.
SMART is a fantastic resource has been put in place in order to safely remove amalgams. Not every dentist is certified in SMART practices, but if you’re interested in getting your amalgam fillings removed, it should only be done with a certified dentist. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to see if your dentist is qualified:
- Check to see if your dentist properly trained to safely remove amalgam fillings? You can use IAOMT website to search for a dentist in your area.
- Call the dentist to talk with them about the procedure. It’s important to talk about the precautions they plan to take for your safety and the safety of the dental staff.
- Ask about the dental materials they will use to fill the tooth, create a crown, inlay, the kind of anesthetic, etc.
- Ask about the price of the filling and see how much your insurance will cover. Often, insurance companies won’t cover the full cost so you’ll need to be prepared to pay your out-of-pocket portion.
I know in our society, it’s not “normal” to walk into a doctor’s office with a list of questions and preferred methods of treatment, but don’t be afraid to speak up. Biologically trained and holistic dentists are used to this – they will welcome your questions.
Side Effects of Removing Mercury Amalgam Fillings
The problem with heavy metals in the body doesn’t just go away when they are removed. Sometimes even removing mercury amalgam fillings can leave behind dangerous side effects, especially if you use a dentist without the SMART practices. If you have your amalgam fillings removed in a situation where you could be exposed to the gases during removal, you only make the problem worse. There is a whole barrel of symptoms that could arise out of mercury toxicity including:
- Mild fatigue
- Eyelid, face, or muscle twitching
- Digestive issues
- Constipation and or diarrhea
- Frequent bad breath
- Constant body odor
- Sensitivity to sound
- Inability to concentrate (Brain Fog)
- Abnormal menses
- Low body temperature
- Cold hands and feet
- Tender teeth
- Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears)
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Nail fungus
- Unexplained Anger
- Autoimmune response
The problem is, many of these symptoms just sound like a bad day. Tired? Irritability? Anxiety? Sounds like last Tuesday, right? The trick is to pay attention to how many of these symptoms, and when you started to notice a difference. If it was around your last dental appointment, your symptoms may actually be the effect of mercury poisoning.
I’m convinced. How do I prepare to get my fillings removed?
Even with proper removal, it is always better to be safe than sorry. This is why preparing for your mercury removal is important. The following health tips will help keep you vital and healthy before, during and after your treatment.
You want to be sure your body is ready to put your natural detox methods into overdrive. Of course, this starts with your diet.
- Take plenty of antioxidants! This will help boost your immune system and minimize damage from free radicals. This may include lots of brightly colored fruit and vegetables such as berries, citrus, carrots, and tomatoes along with green leafy vegetables to help protect your body.
- Increase amino acids found in lean proteins like meat and fish to help in supporting the detoxification process of the liver and kidneys.
- Keep your diet free of all processed foods, sugar, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.
- Include beneficial probiotic bacteria to keep your digestive and immune systems healthy.
- Up your daily intake of pure filtered water to at least 2 liters per day. This will help your body through the elimination process.
You may also want to introduce a few supplements that can help in the mercury detoxification process.
- Selenium: To get your daily dose, simply eat three Brazil nuts a day. If nuts aren’t your style, then there are some good supplements that can do the trick.
- Vitamin C: 1000-4000mg daily in a high potency powder instead of a tablet as it will be more readily absorbed. This is the best option, but if you prefer capsules these will do the trick.
- Milk Thistle: Assists in strengthening the body and maintaining a healthy immune system. You can take anywhere from 200-400mg based on how you feel taking it.
- MSM capsules: 1-3 is generally enough, but increase to 5 capsules a day if you have root canals and mercury fillings.
- Pectasol–C: Binds to all heavy metals and free radicals that could be wreaking havoc in your body. (I actually take this year-round and it helps keep any exposure I might come in contact with moving out of my body so I don’t become as affected. It is an expensive habit, but I haven’t been to the doctor yet!)
- Garlic: Three cloves of garlic a day can enhance sulfur in the body which helps the body to remove mercury. Garlic tablets or a liquid garlic supplement can be taken instead of fresh cloves if you prefer. But I prefer it in food or capsules.
- Biosil: Take 5-10 drops or 1 capsule daily to mobilize heavy metals. I also take this year-round because it has an extra bonus of being great for helping hair and nail growth and strength!
Removing mercury from the body involves excretion through bowel movements. At least two movements per day is thought to be optimal. If you can’t always pack the punch (me included) here are some things to get the juices flowing…
- High doses of Vitamin C (recommended by Dr. Pompa)
- Freshly ground flax seed
- Saltwater loading (1tsp of salt in warm 8oz of water every 30 minutes until you know…)
- Taking a binder like Pectasol–C
How to Detox After Removal
Vitamin C & Pectasol C (the method I personally used):
Step 1: Prepare your body
Just as stated above, you need to make sure that you are taking care of yourself leading up to the amalgam removal. Make sure you eat well, drink plenty of clean water, and get sleep. I would also recommend starting to take the supplements above 1-2 weeks prior.
Step 2: Removal
Just after the removal, take a high dose of Vitamin C until you achieve bowel tolerance. This means to take enough Vitamin C that it will cause diarrhea. I know, pretty right? But the fun part is that once bowels are stimulated, the body has reached its saturation point for Vitamin C and it will start to push the vitamin out of your body. It’s important to hit bowel tolerance causing diarrhea because the excess Vitamin C will neutralize any circulating mercury left behind. Remember, you will want to have immediate access to the Porcelain God for this part of the ride. If you do have a sensitive stomach, Buffered Vitamin C can help reduce that symptom.
***Warning: Do not take Vitamin C before removal because it will interfere with the anesthesia, and you will not get numb.
Step 3: Supplements
Day 1 – Day of Amalgam Removal
- Just before the removal AND just afterward: Take a scoop of Pectasol-C
- After amalgam removal: begin Vitamin C flush using Vitamin C capsules or C+BioFizz
- Take 2,000 mg of Vitamin C every 15 minutes until watery diarrhea occurs (generally occurs within 1 – 4 hours). The point at which you produce 1 – 2 pints of watery diarrhea is called your saturation point. Write down how many milligrams it takes for you to achieve the bowel goal.
Day 2 and 3 – After Amalgam Removal
- Continue taking Pectasol-C 2x a day (30 minutes away from meals and supplements)
- Dosage of Vitamin C powder is 75% of your saturation point from day one. So if it took you 12 teaspoons for you to reach your “saturation point,” then on the second and third day after your amalgam removal, you will take 9 teaspoons.
After these initial days, I would recommend taking the rest of the supplements that you started with, at their normal dosages, until you finish the bottles. If for any reason you do not feel like yourself, you may have had toxic exposure and will need to detox for up to 6 months to get any mercury out of your system. Make sure to repeat steps 1-3 every time you have an amalgam filling removed.
Karack’s Oil Treatment: Hold a mouthful of unrefined sesame oil (from a dark bottle) in your mouth for 3-10 minutes, intermittently swishing it around, “chewing it,” and gargling. When you can’t hold it any longer (without serious drooling!), spit it out. Then gargle and rinse with salt and baking soda, and brush your teeth. Do this treatment daily for 3-6 months after all amalgams have been removed. The change in oil color from golden to white as well as the change of texture from thick to thin you’ll notice upon spitting out the oil indicates the degree of lipophilic (fat-loving) toxic chemicals, metals, and microbes that have been absorbed into the oil from the oral mucosa, as well as throughout the entire body as the blood circulates through the oral mucosa. Environmentally sensitive individuals particularly like the chemical-clearing effects of Dr. Karack’s Ayurvedic sesame oil treatment.
Near Infrared Sauna: The sweating promotes the elimination of toxic chemicals, radioactive particles, and other toxins. It also increases the skin’s ability to eliminate poisons. Learn more about how to use it here.
Statistics estimate that 120 million Americans are currently living with toxic mercury amalgam dental fillings. Information about the effects of these fillings is still coming out and is disturbing as ever. In 2015, a documentary was released that follows three Americans who suffered from the devastating effects of mercury from dental procedures. The film, Evidence of Harm, put a spotlight on the dental industry, profits, and politics. However, the American Dental Association still states that amalgam fillings are safe. While many dentists are turning away from using this material for fillings, the only solution is for you to take action, get tested, and be proactive about your own health.