Tag Archives: amalgam filling removal

I think my amalgam fillings may be contributing to my migraines

I have had migraines for as long as I can remember. I’ve spent years consulting with my doctor trying to pinpoint a cause of them, but we haven’t been able to find anything specific as far as triggers. The headaches can come on as often as two to three times a week and they are relentless. All I do is hide away in a dark room and pray that my pain medication works. I will do anything to make these things go away and last week I came across some information linking migraines to amalgam fillings. I took this info to my dentist and he dismissed the notion saying there is no specific evidence. Even if there was the slightest chance that I could get some relief by removing my amalgam fillings, I want to do it. The headaches are affecting my quality of life, not to mention my job. I’ve already been written up at work for missing so many days. — Marcia

Migraines can no doubt be debilitating — and frustrating if you can’t pinpoint a cause for them. You’ve brought up a subject that is very much a controversy among dentists these days. The ADA continues to maintain that amalgam fillings are safe, but that hasn’t stopped a growing number of dentists (around half of all in the U.S) who are joining a movement to completely stop using silver/amalgam fillings that contain mercury.

While we know that mercury is toxic, the argument centers more around how much mercury is in these fillings and how much exposure is safe. Most scientists believe that fillings only contain a very small amount and it’s considered safe. Silver fillings have been shown in research to cause several health issues including auto-immune disorders, neurological issues and migraines. There have been a growing number of patients who have improved their health after having amalgam fillings removed. Other countries have even gone so far as to ban the use of mercury fillings.

Even if your dentist does not believe your fillings are the cause of your migraines, it won’t hurt to ask if he would replace them for you. Something else you might consider is a holistic dentist. They focus on not only how teeth work, but also how the body is affected when you have issues with your mouth. A holistic dentist will understand your concerns regarding mercury fillings and will remove them in the safest way possible to ensure the least amount of mercury exposure.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

I’m pregnant… will removing amalgam filling harm my baby?

I’m in the last few weeks of my pregnancy and just found out that I have a crack in a tooth with an old large silver filling. My dentist says I need to have the old amalgam removed right away. I am afraid to have this done — I don’t want to expose my baby to mercury vapors. The problem is that my tooth is really hurting, and I’m prone to abscesses. I’m not sure if I should stick it out and wait until after the baby is born or take care of it now.  — Angela

Dear Angela,
I definitely understand your apprehension, and depending on the professional you talk to you may get a difference of opinion. There are many mercury-free dentists that fully denounce the use of amalgam fillings, citing that they release harmful mercury vapors into your body, thus causing a host of toxicities and health problems. A conventional dentist might claim there is no strong evidence to support that concern. There have been a lot of published studies that concluded that fillings containing mercury pose no health risk, except in the extremely rare case that a patient is allergic to them. You can pick your side of the debate.

All parties will likely agree not to remove amalgams during pregnancy, as the removal process could expose you or your baby to more mercury than you would come in contact with as a result of keeping them in. However, in your case, especially if your amalgam is cracked and leaking, and you may be at risk for further infection, problems and pain, it may be the better idea. Just be vigilant that your doctor follows the specific protocols in place for removing amalgam fillings safely to minimize inhalation of mercury vapor.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.

Is it dangerous to swallow amalgam during filling removal?

I recently made a choice to have my old metal fillings replaced with mercury-free tooth-colored fillings. While my dentist felt is wasn’t absolutely necessary, he agreed to do it because my old fillings were worn down a bit. During the procedure, I felt a large piece of one of the fillings fall on my tongue. The dentist retrieved it, but now I am wondering if I could have swallowed pieces that were too small to see. If I did swallow some, is it bad for me?  — Rich in Idaho

If your dentist is a traditionalist, he likely doesn’t worry much about possible side-effects of mercury or amalgam fillings because he follows the guidelines of the ADA (American Dental Association) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The ADA quotes the FDI (Fédération Dentaire Internationale/ World Dental Federation) and WHO (World Health Organization) on their website by saying, “the small amount of mercury released from amalgam restorations, especially during placement and removal, has not been shown to cause any adverse health effects.”

Today, there are a growing number of holistic dentists, doctors and patients who have concerns whether this statement is accurate. There is no evidence endorsed by a government agency that suggests patients will experience any adverse health effects from  amalgam filling removal, nor does any major agency question the safety in having or placing amalgam fillings. It does, however, sound like your dentist was trying to follow the best practice of removal which includes removing them in large pieces to reduce the total amount of aerosol, as well as keeping the large suction and water sprayer on the tooth the whole time to minimize vapors.

A holistic dentist would do things much differently. Not only would he or she likely use a rubber dam to keep particles and debris from falling into your mouth, they would have used additional suction, air movers, oxygen sources, supplementary barriers and other tools to ensure safety and protection of everyone in the room.

Based on current governmentally-endorsed evidence, you have not ingested enough mercury to become ill. If you are concerned, you may want to seek out a holistic dentist and discuss those concerns before your next procedure.

This post is sponsored by New Orleans cosmetic dentist Dr. Duane Delaune. Read more about Find out why many consider Dr. Delaune to be the best dentist in New Orleans.