When the element mercury accumulates to a high concentration in the body, it can lead to a variety of acute and chronic medical problems, including organ damage and compromise of major bodily systems. Because of the widespread usage of mercury in dental amalgam materials, many people are susceptible to mercury toxicity and its associated health issues.
Dentists and toxicologists are divided over the extent of the danger posed by mercury amalgam fillings. Even those who agree that mercury amalgam is hazardous are further divided over whether the safer protocol is to remove them or to leave them untouched. Paradoxically, improper removal of old fillings can cause greater exposure to mercury. Dentists who focus on safe amalgam removal must receive specialized training in the practice; they also follow government guidelines for containment of mercury vapor during the procedure and disposal of mercury-containing materials afterward.
Mercury toxicity is a health problem that results from a variety of environmental exposures. In addition to its widespread use in dental amalgam, mercury gets into our surroundings from industrial processes and broken fluorescent tubes and even from natural phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions. It is also consumed in fish and meat; with each step up the food chain, mercury accumulates to a greater concentration in flesh tissues.
The symptoms of mercury toxicity are manifold; poisoning from the element can affect every part of the body, including the neurological, central nervous, gastrointestinal, immune, neuromuscular, and cardiovascular systems, as well as major organs, such as the brain, liver, and kidneys. Symptoms are diverse, ranging from headache and fatigue to gastrointestinal disorders and from muscle and bone afflictions to oral health and gum problems.
Multiple medical studies report that the effects of mercury toxicity can be mitigated and often reversed when proper procedures are implemented to remove the sources of mercury poisoning in the body. The most common source of mercury entering the body is from mercury fillings, suggesting that a safe, comprehensive protocol of mercury amalgam removal and replacement can lead to a marked improvement in health.
When a person is faced with mercury poisoning, three bodily systems—immune, detoxification, and elimination—come into play to deal with the problem. The first line of defense, the immune system, recognizes pathogens and foreign substances that are injurious to health. The immune system may react by neutralizing the threatening substance; it might also respond with chronic inflammation, with an overreacting immune reaction, or by shutting down entirely. These latter immune responses can lead to degenerative conditions and organ or tissue damage.
Detoxification works by preventing a recognized damaging substance from causing harm to the body. The liver is the main line of defense here, though other organs, such as the lungs and kidneys, play a role. Enzymes attach to toxins both chemically and electrostatically, preparing them for elimination from the body. Toxins that are difficult to neutralize, such as mercury, may undergo repeated phases of detoxification until they are safely contained.
The kidneys excrete simple toxins, whereas more dangerous ones are eliminated via the colon. Some health problems can cause the detox phase to reverse, causing subsequent repeated cycles of the elimination system. Heavy metals such as mercury are difficult to neutralize; they stress the body’s defense systems and, even if successfully eliminated, can leave severe damage in their wake.
A patient coming to The Center for Systemic Dentistry will be the recipient of a state-of-the-art protocol for safe removal of mercury amalgam. A comprehensive initial dental exam and systemic assessment determine the extent of mercury damage. This exam and an evaluation of the patient’s overall health help the doctor to determine if the patient is at risk of systemic reaction in the immune, detoxification, or elimination systems.
The removal and restoration treatment is specialized for individual affected teeth, each of which will be repaired with one of four restoration techniques: direct restoration, inlay restoration, only restoration, or crown restoration. The doctor uses the patient’s exam and assessment to determine the best type of mercury-free replacement material for each tooth.
Safety and protection, for both patient and dental staff, are observed during all removal and restoration procedures. Protocols for safety include cooling, chunking, high-volume evacuation, rubber dams, cleansing, and filtered office air. Finally, the dentist provides the patient with “Dos” and “Don’ts” for the day of treatment, therapeutic scheduling for optimized treatment, nutritional and systemic assessments, a follow-up consultation, and post-treatment therapies as necessary.
A safe, effective program for removal of mercury amalgam (safe mercury removal) is the first step toward reversing the effects of mercury toxicity in your body. The Center for Systemic Dentistry in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, is committed to being the state’s leading dental practice that focuses on holistic, healing-focused dentistry. Dr. Philip Memoli and his staff are ready to help you recover your health so you can begin to lead a life free of mercury toxicity. Call us today at (908) 464-9144 or contact us via our online contact form.
Safe Amalgam Removal If you have been diagnosed with mercury toxicity or you have been thinking about having your mercury (amalgam) fillings removed, you’ll find everything you need here to help you make the best decision for your individual health. Whether you use us to remove your amalgam or not, be sure to review the section on “Safe Amalgam Removal,” and make sure that your dentist follows this protocol.