Mercury Free, Mercury Safe
Alex Bell Dental, Holistic dental practice offers mercury-free biological dentistry in Centerville, OH
Throughout history, the mouth was treated as a separate entity from the rest of the body. Biological dentistry is a forerunner in treating the patient as a person, rather than addressing a symptom or body part. Holistic dental providers, Dr. Daniel Cobb, bring this forward-thinking level of care to patients in the Centerville, OH area.
Your mouth is the gateway to your body. Everything that goes into it, from nourishment to dental products, has an impact on the rest of your physiology. Biological dentistry considers your overall state of physical and emotional health. Our team uses biologically-friendly materials and techniques to keep your mouth healthy, without compromising wellness. Our mercury-free, holistic dental practices focus on overall patient health, safety, and wellness.
Everyone, including the European Union, the American Dental Association, Amalgam Manufacturers, and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology agree that removing old mercury silver fillings can be dangerous because it exposes everyone present to an enormous amounts of mercury. Fortunately, there are steps that any responsible dentist can take which can reduce the risk and minimize everyone’s exposure to this toxic metal.
First, a dentist needs to understand that once a removal procedure begins, the mercury filling will spew enormous quantities of invisible, odorless poisonous gas. This must be captured in a vacuum and removed from the vicinity of the dental personnel and the patient. Some poorly designed dental offices have vacuums that exhaust indoors, like a closet or utility room. This is wrong, because the whole office then gets contaminated as a result. The next important step is to protect the breathing zone. This can be done for the doctor and assistant with a Mind Safety Association mask with an additional small particle filter. A better system is like the one used for Hazmat disposal experts or firemen; this provides fresh air under positive pressure. This avoids the principle problem with masks alone, which is termed Suck-By, where contaminated air is inhaled around the edge of the mask instead of through the filters. For the patient, it presents a slightly different problem. Positive pressure air is strongly recommended as well. A suitable substitute is a nasal hood similar to that used to administer nitrous oxide analgesia, but without the positive pressure. This reduces the exposure, but a rapid inhalation can suck-by the edge of a nasal hood, therefore positive pressure is considered safer. Gloves, nitrile gloves are preferred over latex because mercury does not appear to penetrate nitrile gloves as readily as it does latex.
Personally, I prefer to use a rubber dam for many reasons. But some dentists and a few patients packing the mouth with cotton. Its not important since both those procedures are approved but remember, do not breathe in through your mouth at all during any dental procedure.
Before commencement of the drilling, the patient holds a supplemental vacuum close to their chin and dental assistant should place her high volume vacuum within one half inch of the two. That is not the saliva ejector, its a big vacuum. It should remain glued to that side of the tooth until every scrap of mercury filling and the particles are thoroughly removed and rinsed away. In addition, since mercury easily penetrates latex, a vacuum such as a saliva ejector should be placed underneath the rubber dam and the patient should be cautioned not to breathe in through their mouth.
A technique pioneered and taught by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology called the ‘Cut and Chunk Technique’ involves sectioning the old filling with a bur. In the diagram, you see the bur is placed into the filling and drawn across, cutting the filling into two pieces. That reduces the amount of drilling required to remove the filling. No diamonds please, as that creates small particles and is potentially, even more dangerous that using a bur. The dentist using a full water spray from his handpiece and a supplemental spray from the dental assistant from her water syringe carefully cuts the old filling in half and removes the two pieces. This minimizes the drilling necessary and the water cools the filling to reduce the mercury vapor.
After the filling is out, the dam and cotton roll should be removed and the mouth thoroughly for about a minute in order to remove all the particles. These instructions can be found on the page of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. I would recommend that you review them and have your dentist do the same before commencing any procedures involving mercury.
- Mercury-free dentistry – Silver-colored amalgam fillings contain about 50 percent mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin that has been linked to a myriad of neurological and other health issues. At Alex Bell Dental, we do not place mercury fillings. We use composite resin filling materials and porcelain inlays, onlays, and crowns that are safe and look natural.
- Mercury-safe amalgam removal – Mercury can be absorbed and ingested. This makes the inhaled vapors and particles a notable risk. Our practice adheres to the strict guidelines laid out by the IAOMT for safe amalgam removal. By following these methods, mercury exposure is minimized for the patient, dental staff, and the environment.
- Hazmat process for amalgam removal – Dental amalgam particles are a source of toxic mercury. We follow proper disposal methods. Waste management includes separate systems for vaporous mercury and for scrap amalgam, properly storing mercury material, and using a certified biomedical waste carrier.
- Fluoride avoidance – A growing body of research supports the potential health threats from fluoride. We do not advocate topical fluoride treatment or oral supplements. Rather, we work with you to develop healthy nutritional and lifestyle habits that provide beneficial mineral levels naturally.
“So what I’ll do is I’m going take a reading of the ambient air around the filling, above the filling it might say. Then I’ll take a reading of the filling. Then I’m going to brush it with a soft-bristle toothbrush for 10 or 15 seconds and I’ll take a reading and we’ll see what that says. You want to see the reading that says 0.00. It takes about 12 to 15 seconds of sampling the air and its computerized so it projects it into the air. And whats it say now? 0.00. Now here’s the amalgam; has an M.O.D. in it, lets see what happens to that. 6.00, and that’s multiplied by three trillion by the way. 6.00, so that’s six micrograms per cubic meter. So lets give the filling a little brushing here. Depending on the brush; how hard it is and how much pressure you put on it, that’s all going to affect it. Also, high copper amalgam will also be affected. By the way, the high copper amalgam releases 50 times more mercury given the same temperature and stimulation as the older ones. 260.7, that’s micrograms. So, you get a pretty good idea that the idea of mercury coming off of amalgam filling even with a common formal simulation can be quite significant. Now if you see if you divide this chart up by the middle, the left side you have chewing your food 36 micrograms per cubic meter of air, toothbrushing 200, tooth grinding 350, wet polishing 500 micrograms per cubic meter of air, dry polishing 600, and unsafe removal 1000.”
A telling demonstration, but what do the numbers actually mean? Remember, mercury vapor in any quantity is poisonous and has profound psychological and physical effects. Here are just some of the psychological and emotional symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning. And here are just some of the physical symptoms of chronic mercury poisoning. In addition, these are some diseases related to chronic mercury poisoning. As well, this is just a partial list of how mercury relates to reproductive disorders.
Regardless of a dentist’s beliefs about whether or not mercury amalgam fillings are a health hazard, you have seen that removing them unsafely can generate toxic levels of mercury vapor – exposing the dentist, the dental staff and the patient. The good news is that safe removal protocols are effective and available and we believe they should be adopted by all dentists. And the bad news is that only a small percentage of these dentists are using these safe removal protocols.
If you are a dentist, the New Directions Dentistry website offers the first and most comprehensive DVD course for minimizing occupational exposure to Mercury at the dental office and making your practice mercury safe. If you are a patient, we urge you to let your dentist know about our services and DVD. For more information about the very real health hazards of Mercury amalgam and Dr. Tom McGuire’s book, ‘The Poison in Your Teeth’ visit mercurysafedentists.com. There, you will also find the largest, most comprehensive online directory of mercury-safe dentists. Thank you for watching!
At Alex Bell Dental, you are more than a patient. We are committed to helping you enjoy life to the fullest with a beautiful smile and robust health. Call (937) 435 7311.