T Nation

Mercury Fillings - Confusion

I just got some dental work done- three fillings, they were done with regular dental amalgam. For whatever reason I failed to look into things before I had the work done and have only now researched the controversy over mercury fillings.

I have just finished reading the entire wikipedia entry on this issue and am throughly confused. It seems to be one of those issues where there is strong reliable evidence in both directions.

Some quotes -

[quote]Another review published in 2005 by the Freiburg University Institute for Environmental Medicine found that “mercury from dental amalgam may lead to nephrotoxicity, neurobehavioural changes, autoimmunity, oxidative stress, autism, skin and mucosa alterations or non-specific symptoms and complaints”, that “Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis has also been linked to low-dose mercury exposure”, and that “removal of dental amalgam leads to permanent improvement of various chronic complaints in a relevant number of patients in various trials.”[4]

In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement on dental amalgam which asserted that “no valid scientific evidence has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in the rare case of allergy”

The FDI World Dental Federation performed a meta-analysis of the literature on mercury toxicity and concluded that there is no documented scientific evidence to show adverse effects from mercury in amalgam restorations except in extremely rare cases of mercury hypersensitivity.

Maths Berlin 2002 study(recent review of 700 papers) concludes:

"With reference to the fact that mercury is a multipotent toxin with effects on several levels of the biochemical dynamics of the cell, amalgam must be considered to be an unsuitable material for dental restoration. This is especially true since fully adequate and less toxic alternatives are available. With reference to the risk of inhibiting influence on the growing brain, it is not compatible with science and well-tried experience to use amalgam fillings in children and fertile women. Every doctor and dentist should, where patients are suffering from unclear pathological states and autoimmune diseases, consider whether side-effects from mercury released from amalgam may be one contributory cause of the symptoms.

(same review ( Maths)) - The lowest exposure, in terms of urinary mercury secretion, that has been found to give rise to a demonstrable toxic effect has fallen from 30-50 μg/l till 10-25 μg/l. Accordingly, the safety margin that it was thought existed with respect to mercury exposure from amalgam has been erased.

[/quote]

So all these conflicting views has got me worried now…

Thoughts ?

Prof X ?

I thought it was one of Bruce Willis’ weaker movies. I liked Alec Baldwin in it though.

In my opinion, mercury shouldn’t be anywhere near your body. Especially in you mouth.

You ever watch Fringe? That’s a great show and there are shape-shifters that have mercury for blood.
That sounds silly, but really it’s a great show.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
In my opinion, mercury shouldn’t be anywhere near your body. Especially in you mouth.

[/quote]

I second this.

I have seen cases where every muscle in the body tested weak - until the fillings were replaced with a more ‘friendly’ material, at which point the patient tested strong and the general malaise they complained of went away.

BBB[/quote]

Placebo effect? Don’t discount the power of the mind in creating symptoms and improvements. What of the very large number of people with amalgam fillings who don’t complain of any malaise, or muscle weakness, or MS symptoms, etc…?

I haven’t been taught extensively about this yet, but from what I understand the microleakage of mercury from fillings is insignificant and unlikely to cause any physiological effect. You get a bigger dose of mercury from eating fish.

To the OP, did your dentist discuss different options for fillings with you?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:

[quote]RBlue wrote:

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
In my opinion, mercury shouldn’t be anywhere near your body. Especially in you mouth.

[/quote]

I second this.

I have seen cases where every muscle in the body tested weak - until the fillings were replaced with a more ‘friendly’ material, at which point the patient tested strong and the general malaise they complained of went away.

BBB[/quote]

Placebo effect? Don’t discount the power of the mind in creating symptoms and improvements. What of the very large number of people with amalgam fillings who don’t complain of any malaise, or muscle weakness, or MS symptoms, etc…?[/quote]

What about the large number of people who feel and perform better when they eliminate wheat and dairy, yet are not classically ‘intolerant’?

Let me guess, this was taught to you at dental school? Do you really think that a profession that puts mercury into peoples mouths would be the most objective regarding mercury toxicity?

Besides, it’s more to do with electrical potentials affecting the CNS, than microleakage.

BBB[/quote]

Ridiculous.

Hint: If a doctor who handles the stuff for 50 years doesn’t get sick, maybe you should take note of that.

The biggest risk is during condensation of the material into a cavity prep…which means the doc is at greater risk because this is when the mercury is pushed out of the filling before it sets…with the initial set happening within 5-10min usually before the procedure is over.

That wasn’t learned at dental school but in damn near a decade of practice after the fact.

I personally do not have anything against dental amalgams in most people, but I also know many dentists avoid them today simply because of the esthetics issue.

The alternative is a composite filling or an onlay/inlay.

Composite fillings have about a 5 years+ life in the mouth of most people with 10 years pushing it before it needs to be replaced. Amalgams are sturdier, last longer, and are what I would choose to out in the mouth of someone who I was convinced would not be receiving regular dental treatment and who had poor oral hygiene because of the factors mentioned earlier.

If someone has good oral hygiene and sees a dentist regularly, there is nothing wrong with composite fillings and they do look better.

COST is a major factor as well because tons of people love to talk a good game, but the truth is, most will see the bill for an inlay/onlay, notice the 5-800 dollar difference, notice what insurance pays and then choose the amalgam because it costs less.

[quote]RBlue wrote:

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
In my opinion, mercury shouldn’t be anywhere near your body. Especially in you mouth.

[/quote]

I second this.

I have seen cases where every muscle in the body tested weak - until the fillings were replaced with a more ‘friendly’ material, at which point the patient tested strong and the general malaise they complained of went away.

BBB[/quote]

Placebo effect? Don’t discount the power of the mind in creating symptoms and improvements. What of the very large number of people with amalgam fillings who don’t complain of any malaise, or muscle weakness, or MS symptoms, etc…?

I haven’t been taught extensively about this yet, but from what I understand the microleakage of mercury from fillings is insignificant and unlikely to cause any physiological effect. You get a bigger dose of mercury from eating fish.

To the OP, did your dentist discuss different options for fillings with you? [/quote]

This is true. Aren’t there people claiming that the ingredient in diet sodas made them sick when the truth is, the amount to do something like that would require that person to drink their weight three times over in sodas everyday?

it’s controversial…the good news is, is that they will last longer than other resins. Seems like somepeople report having had strange reaction, but there is no significant data reporting a direct cause of disease or oral lesions due to Mercury amalgam. Just dont drink your thermometer from 1974 and you’ll be fine. dont worry. <3, your resident biologist, and almost dentist.

I forgot to add that I think an inlay/onlay is the “best” restoration you can get and the longest lasting…but again, people usually think with their wallet when in a doc’s office. People want “the best” but they want to pay for “the cheapest”.

Good timing for this thread.

My dentist told me a few years ago he thought I’d probably have to get my amalgams replaced. For a few months now my teeth have suddenly become very sensitive to temperature and chewing. Left side can’t hardly chew anything like cashews. Even tough steaks hurt. The right side sensitive to cold.

Are these signs that fillings might need replacing? I don’t think I’ve been to the dentist for two years now…

Few things to add -

Two things make me especially worried-

One - the potential effects of mercury poisoning don’t seem to necessarily be “dramatic” or acute, but instead a slow, and small change in memory, cognitive function, general well-being etc.

Two - From what I have read there is great debate even over the matter of TESTING for mercury poisoning. From what I gather the problem lies in the fact that mercury builds up in the organs of the body and is not secreted- how do you test for something that is not secreted… So I find this scary as you could be experiences the effects but not test positive for poisoning. (one study showed an increase in urinary mercury concentrations immediately after receiving mercury fillings, then 3 years later urinary concentrations where down to normal levels EVEN THOUGH EXPOSURE HAD REMAINED THE SAME OR INCREASED , this suggest that at low dose exposure the body can lose its ability to secrete mercury)

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:

[quote]RBlue wrote:

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:

[quote]Iron Dwarf wrote:
In my opinion, mercury shouldn’t be anywhere near your body. Especially in you mouth.

[/quote]

I second this.

I have seen cases where every muscle in the body tested weak - until the fillings were replaced with a more ‘friendly’ material, at which point the patient tested strong and the general malaise they complained of went away.

BBB[/quote]

Placebo effect? Don’t discount the power of the mind in creating symptoms and improvements. What of the very large number of people with amalgam fillings who don’t complain of any malaise, or muscle weakness, or MS symptoms, etc…?[/quote]

What about the large number of people who feel and perform better when they eliminate wheat and dairy, yet are not classically ‘intolerant’?[/quote]

When did we start talking about wheat & dairy intolerance?

[quote]

Let me guess, this was taught to you at dental school? Do you really think that a profession that puts mercury into peoples mouths would be the most objective regarding mercury toxicity?[/quote]

I’d say that, given it’s a medical profession that bases its practices on current clinical and experimental evidence rather than hearsay and fear-mongering, yes, dental school is gonna be pretty objective about it.

[quote]Besides, it’s more to do with electrical potentials affecting the CNS, than microleakage.

BBB[/quote]

Explain what you mean by this.

They say mercury fillings will harm your memory but I have not seen …ahh…what?

I had a whole bunch of these myself. Thank You ARMY Dentists! (like when I was 8 years old) - I am not aware of any dentists in the US who use this outdated protocol. My wife works at a dental office and assures me no quality dentist would ever use this crap.

My personal story was, much like someone else posted- my fillings started decaying (ironic since they are supposed to stop that)…and caused me a whole shitload of dental problems that ended up costing me many many thousands of dollars ultimately.

I don’t know what’s legal in Canada, or normal practice - but I would get those suckers out of your mouth ASAP with a better filling. The mercury poisoning is kinda moot, if you consider that these types of fillings are going to hurt your mouth ultimately. Trust me, you will be glad you did. Don’t wait like I did - and ultimately harm your mouth in other ways.

I’m pretty sure they are very common in the U.S, they are only banned in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. They are also used in Canada, my dentist didn’t even mention anything about it, this is one of the debates- whether or not dentists should disclose that there is mercury in the fillings. According to wikipedia some dentist have had their licenses revoke for suggesting alternate types of fillings, reason being that it is considered unethical as it costs more… ( seems really strange to me)

[quote]In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement on dental amalgam which asserted that “no valid scientific evidence has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in the rare case of allergy”
[/quote]

[quote]According to the Boston College Law School study, “A dentist who is found guilty of violating the ADA Code of Ethics can be sentenced, censured, suspended, or expelled from the ADA” and the “ADA forbids its dentists from suggesting mercury removal under threat of license suspension”.[9] The same study pointed out that state dental associations and disciplinary boards have “not only adopted the ADA’s position as a matter of routine” in proceedings which have sanctioned anti-amalgam dentists or stripped them of their licenses in California, Maryland, Arizona, Colorado, and Minnesota, but in many cases “the board members themselves often belonged to the ADA as well”.[9] A 2002 article in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported allegations by anti-amalgamists that the ADA had effectively imposed gag rules which forbade them from discussing their positions with patients.[45] The Boston College Law School study also cites proceedings in which an Arizona dentist, “is facing sanctions for advocating alternative materials”, a California dentist lost his license, "for running an advertisement entitled: “Mercury Emission from Silver Filings Unsafe by Government Standards”, and a Maryland dentist, “was sanctioned for writing an article on dental amalgam removal”.[45][46][47] More recently, the ADA has entered into litigation “aimed at defending its reputation and discouraging further lawsuits by patient-plaintiffs against dental amalgam”.[9]
[edit] [/quote]

I had several composite fillings because I didn’t want to put mercury in my mouth. Two failed inside of 7 years and I didn’t have dental insurance to fix them, so had to pay out of pocket.

Why was mercury used ever used in the first place? is it a boring (non-reactive) metal like gold?

There is way too much bullshit in this thread showing most people don’t even understand how their own mouths work. I am not about to jump in and waste time trying to argue against every single bullshit statement someone has made here.

However, this statement by “johnduaneyoung”:

Makes no sense whatsoever. Your wife is not a dentist and is not trained to be giving the advice she is. Filings are NOT supposed to “stop” cavities. Fillings remove decay that YOU allowed to grow in your mouth and fill in the hole left with bio-compatible material. If YOU allow more decay to grow around those fillings, that is the cause of them failing. Fillings aren’t magic and it is YOUR job to keep your mouth clean even after you get a filling done.

Mercury is used because without it, the material would not be soft enough at the point of condensation to push it into the hole left by the cavity. Within 5-10min, the substance hardens after the mercury is pushed out.

I am not answering any more question here because it is pretty clear you all WANT to believe most of this crap.

But blaming someone else for why your teeth rotted is pretty ridiculous.