View Full Version : After Mercury Removal -- What is the Best Material to Replace Your Filling With?

11-08-10, 11:05 PM
Posted November 06 2010
By Dr. Lina Garcia, DDS, DMD (http://www.mercola.com/forms/garcia_practice.htm)

For decades, it's been known that mercury is dangerous to human health because it accumulates in the body and damages its cells. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can cause memory loss, headaches, loss of coordination, weakness, kidney damage, respiratory damage, infertility, birth defects, and psychiatric effects.
Mercury has also been linked to multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and lupus.
As Dr. Mercola mentioned in his October 12, 2010 newsletter, mercury-amalgam fillings are essentially unethical human experiments (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/12/the-worst-sadistic-experiments.aspx):
"If you have "silver" amalgam dental fillings, I'm sorry to say that you, too, have been the subject of an ill-fated experiment.

In the words of Charlie Brown, president of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free dentistry (http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/#):

"Amalgam is a primitive, polluting, 19th century product that began when physicians were sawing off legs. Medicine has since moved forward."
Unfortunately, this aspect of dentistry has not.

The American Dental Association (ADA) continues to give amalgam (mercury) fillings their seal of approval despite the known fact that mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can damage your brain, central nervous system and kidneys.

A single dental amalgam filling releases as much as 15 micrograms of mercury per day, which is absorbed directly into your body. Canada advised dentists (http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/#) to stop placing amalgam in children and pregnant women in 1996 -- nearly 15 years ago! Denmark, Norway and Sweden have essentially banned amalgams. But in the United States, they're still regarded as the "gold standard" of dental care -- unfortunately once again at the expense of your health."
Many of you have probably decided to take the next step toward better health by removing your mercury fillings. But have you considered what material will replace your old amalgam?
This choice is incredibly important. If you do not use the most biocompatible material available, you may compromise your wellbeing and take a step backwards in your health, rather than forward.
Don't undermine your healthy choice to remove your mercury-amalgam fillings by restoring them with harmful materials!
Patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting dental restoration materials: porcelain, composite resin, all-metal, and porcelain-fused-to-metal.
Porcelain is an Excellent Choice
I believe that the ideal replacement for a mercury-amalgam filling is an all-porcelain inlay or onlay.
Porcelain is a ceramic material that most closely resembles natural tooth enamel in terms of appearance and functionality, and it is the most biocompatible restoration material available on the market today. ("Biocompatible" means that it is as neutral as possible when placed in your mouth, and it is most agreeable with the rest of your body.)
Porcelain is the best choice, even if biocompatibility tests conclude that you would be okay with other materials like gold, platinum, or composite resins (made of an acrylic plastic).
Because porcelain is chemically inert and does not contain any ionized metal or plastic.
Composites are Weak and Contain Plastic
The plastic content in composite resin fillings and bondings make them susceptible to shrinkage and dilation in response to temperature changes, such as when you drink hot or cold liquids. This can affect the seal between the filling and the tooth and allow bacteria to leak under the material, which can cause tooth sensitivity and decay.
Composites are also relatively weak -- they wear down much faster than natural tooth enamel, which can lead to fractures and tooth loss.
In addition, dental composites typically contain compounds that are derived from bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that is potentially toxic. BPA mimics the body's natural hormones (specifically, estrogen), disrupting the function of the endocrine system. BPA has been shown to affect reproduction and brain development in animal studies.
In humans, it has been identified as a possible cause of breast and uterine cancer, prostate cancer, decreased testosterone levels, and developmental effects in children. (This is why we currently favor drinking water out of glasses rather than plastic bottles, why parents are switching to BPA-free baby bottles, and why lawmakers are pushing for restrictions on BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups, and other food containers.)
Be Careful Not All Porcelains are Created Equal
You need to be aware that when a conventional dentist uses porcelain as a replacement material the base of the actual replacement is actually a metal and then it is covered with porcelain. The next section discusses some of the problems with using metals in your mouth.
Ideally you would want a metal-free porcelain replacement to avoid the problem with electric currents that may interfere with the proper functioning of your brain.
Metals Cause Galvanic Activity and Immunological Responses
Metal restorations can cause a large number of harmful side effects, so these are the worst choice for replacing your amalgam fillings. Metal crowns, inlays, and onlays constantly release metal ions into patients' mouths due to corrosion and galvanism. These ions are distributed through the lymphatic system and bloodstream to the entire body.
This constant exposure to metallic ions can cause toxic, allergic, and immunologic reactions. Depending on their genetic makeup, individuals may tolerate more or less exposure to metals before showing adverse systemic effects.
The immunological effects of metals can be either very general, such as the activation or suppression of the immune system, or very specific, such as allergy, inflammation, and autoimmunity (any disease in which the body attacks itself, like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis).
Furthermore, metal restorations cause galvanic activity. Dental metals contain all the ingredients you need to create a charged battery in your mouth. A battery only requires two or more different metals and a liquid that can conduct electricity (i.e., an electrolyte), like saliva.
An electric current, called a galvanic current, is generated by the transportation of the metal ions from the metal-based dental restorations into your saliva.
This is called "oral galvanism." Oral galvanism increases the rate of corrosion of metal restorations, causing even more metallic ions to be released into your body. It can also cause a constant metallic or salty taste or a burning sensation in your mouth, unexplained pain, nerve shocks, ulcerations, and inflammation.
Moreover, there is concern that oral galvanism directs electrical currents into brain tissue and can disrupt the natural electrical current in the brain.
Even if you have only one metal filling or crown in your mouth, you may still be exposed to galvanic toxicity. All-metal and metal-fused-to-porcelain restorations can contain any number of different metals, because they are always made of alloys (metal blends). No pure metals are used, not even gold, because the physical characteristics are inappropriate.
Since I am dedicated to providing my patients with the most biocompatible treatments available, my dental practice (http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/#) is completely metal-free.
Even though researchers are beginning to test metal sensitivity in patients and test the role of metals in chronic disease, I take my practice one step further by offering only ceramic implants and restorations, even if test results show that a patient can tolerate a particular metal.
I believe that most people WILL respond immunologically to ionized metals -- if not today, then at some point in the future, as a result of cumulative dental, medical, and environmental exposure.
Therefore, I choose only the best materials currently available in order to fulfill my patients' functional and cosmetic needs while minimizing the toxicity in their mouths (which could influence the rest of their bodies). And right now, ceramics are the most biocompatible choice.
What About Aluminum and Zirconium Oxides?
Many patients ask, "Doesn't porcelain contain aluminum oxide, which is a metal?" Most ceramics, including porcelain and zirconia (which we use for dental implants and bridges), consist of one or more varieties of a metal oxide, a compound of a metal and oxygen.
But these oxides are NOT cause for concern, because ceramics do NOT release metallic ions into your mouth.
Once the metal is chemically bonded to the oxygen (or "oxidized"), it becomes a chemically inert, non-metallic ceramic. The metal is completely bound and is part of a crystalline lattice structure; it is no longer available to ionize or dissociate and bind chemically with our tissues when placed in the body. (The binding to our tissues is what creates toxicity concerns.)
An oxidized metal no longer acts like a metal -- for example, its electrons are not available for donation and therefore does not cause galvanic activity -- which is why it is classified as a ceramic. This makes porcelain highly biocompatible, unlike dental metals such as mercury, gold, copper, nickel, and titanium.
Think of it this way: porcelain is as different from its components, aluminum and oxygen, as table salt is from its components, sodium and chlorine. Sodium and chlorine are highly reactive and are potentially toxic in their natural states. But when they are combined to create sodium chloride -- table salt -- they change into a completely new, edible compound.
The same is true for porcelain.
When the aluminum is oxidized, it becomes a ceramic and no longer releases metal ions that are bioavailable to chemically bind with the tissues in your body. Thus, porcelain does not create the same health concerns as metallic materials. Furthermore, no local or systemic adverse reactions have been reported in relation to ceramic dental materials.
What About Biocompatability Testing?
It is common for many biological dentistry to do a biocompatability blood test of a patient's blood. This is a test that evaluates the reactivity of the patients' blood to many different dental materials, including metals.
Those materials are being used for root canals, implants, temporary and permanent restorations, removable partials, bridges, and cements, which is essentially, all the available dental materials. After 25 years of private holistic practice, it is of my professional opinion, that the majority of the materials being tested do not belong in a patient's mouth.
As previously stated, metals interact with the patient's saliva causing galvanic activity and immunological response. In the long run and sometimes acutely, these materials will compromise a person's health, even if the biocompatibility test measures inert or non-reactive to your blood at the time it was done.
My advice is to simplify the process by using materials that are more similar to tooth structure, and bone such as porcelain and ceramic materials, which are more biologically inert and better tolerated by the immune system.
Make Sure You Get Dental Replacement Material Correct
Keep in mind that no material is a perfect substitute for your tooth as a result of the issues described above.
That's why prevention is the key to health. We educate our patients in eating healthy for their metabolic type, having excellent oral hygiene, maintaining great sleeping habits, and making good lifestyle choices. And when they remove their mercury fillings, we make sure to follow the right protocol and replace them with only the strongest and most biocompatible material.
Remember it is best to seek out a dentist that has been trained in biological dentistry to perform any mercury removal. For more information on this important topic please review the article Dr. Mercola wrote in September (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/23/dramatic-video-visualization-showing-silver-fillings-releasing-mercury.aspx).


11-08-10, 11:36 PM
Porcelain is soooooo expensive though.

I have noticed since I got a bunch of composite fillings earlier this year they get massively sensitive to hot or cold drinks, so maybe that's why... they're moving. They haven't felt right at all since I had them done, but just gonna have to wait to get them replaced with porcelain I think. Better than having full-blown decay going on and still far better than mercury.

I hate dentists. :(

11-09-10, 11:03 AM
Because of my sinusitis since the age of four or five, I think I have been prescribed almost every antibiotic known to man, especially the tooth killer - tetracycline - have the lines on my teeth to prove it! As a consequence, I have so much metal in my mouth I am scared I will set off the metal detectors at airports soon. About eighteen months ago I finally convinced my dentist to use ceramics despite the cost. Am very slowly replacing old metal with ceramic much to my dentists wonderment, and he is a guy I went to school with, very intelligent, very meticulous and painless but he is very much old school and keeps insisting mercury amalgam is OK. If he wasn't such a good friend and so painless, not to mention stubborn, I think I would shove his pick up his left nostril to perform an internal lobotomy.
Yes I know, why would you want a friend who has wrinkly fingers all the time and can understand what you say with a mouth full of cotton wool and steel, but says 'pardon' every time you speak normally?
Think I must be the only person who has a dentist as a friend.

11-09-10, 11:24 AM
I very slowly replaced 16 silver metal fillings and feel better-don't know if it is because I am not getting more mercury or knowing those things are out of my body.
My dentist is a wonderful guy-but doesn't think amalgams are harmful. He's about my age-middle 50's, and went to school when the science boffins were infallible about no side effects from procedures.

11-09-10, 11:50 AM
Dentistry indeed has moved forward, at least in some quarters. During the early 1980s, I had four white composite fillings stuck in four of my teeth, by the very expensive Beverly Hills dentist, because she was the only dentist in my area who I could find to not be using amalgam. By the time the novocain wore off, I was having extreme pain from normal chewing.

Later, after these all had disintegrated and had been replaced by gold foil fillings by the really nice, not so expensive dentist in western Washington. These lasted for a long time, and the gold onlay type still is there in one tooth.

Later, while moving to northern California, one back tooth just broke right off, right there in the Chinese restaurant. One gold crown later, by another expensive California dentist, and this one still remains.

So now I have found another dentist, who seems to be up on the latest stuff in dentistry. This one uses white composite fillings, and has stuck a few of them in my teeth, to replace the remaining mercury amalgam fillings.

Here is some of the interesting information that I have learned from his well educated staff: Mercury amalgam fillings do indeed last a longer time in teeth, in spite of their gradually losing some of their substance into the patients body over time. They actually are harder than the tooth, unlike the white composite fillings, and they expand over their decades of existence, to the point where the tooth can crack and pieces of the original tooth are lost. Voila! Now the dentist gets to put in a crown, because there is not enough original tooth left to accept a new filling. Their phrase for this phenomenon was "Little amalgam fillings grow up to be big crowns."

11-09-10, 12:19 PM
Thank you, Maurya-that is what happened to me. The metal fillings were cracking my teeth and I didn't know why. Now I do:)