Reply To: Questions about amalgam fillings

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wol1;59823 wrote: How are they removed safely and to what should he/she change to?

The safest bet is not to remove these fillings until they reach their end of life.

Let’s start with some publications about the alternative to amalgam fillings. Those who have their amalgam removed, have it replaced with composite resin. Composite resin does look better because it is tooth-colored. However, they contain lots of BPA (a kind of bisphenol, of the phenol family of chemicals).

BPA used to be used in food containers, even in drinking bottles. However, it turned out to be poisonous. Therefore, it has recently be banned after it was declared to be a toxic substance. BPA is now banned in the USA, Canada, en Europe.

Unfortunately, BPA is still widely used in composite resin fillings. It significantly leaks into the body. A respected, peer-reviewed publication is one of Sasaki et al. in the Journal of Materials in Science, Materials in Medicine (PubMed link and book). Another one is by Vom Saal and Hughes, published in Environmental Health Perspectives (PubMed, PDF, and abstract).

Note that the FDA warns against the dangers of BPA; there is no comparable FDA warning against the dangers of amalgam. Thus, even if amalgam would not be perfectly safe, we may conclude that composite resin is more dangerous than amalgams.

Opponents of the use of amalgam sometimes state that amalgam has been forbidden in a number of countries. What those opponents fail to tell us is that there is not a single country where the ban on amalgam resulted from concerns about the effects of the fillings. Instead, those countries that banned amalgams did so because of environmental effects due to the mining and disposal of mercury.

Another study looked specifically at children, because they are thought to be more vulnerable to any negative effect than adults. Thus, a large group of children was studied; about half of these children had quite a lot of amalgam fillings, the other half did not. The children were followed for a significant time: five years.

The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (PubMed and the full article (free)). To summarize: “[T]here were no statistically significant differences in adverse neuropsychological or renal effects observed over the 5-year period in children whose caries were restored using dental amalgam or composite materials.“.

Let’s look at what independent Consumer Reports has to say. They covered the subject a number of times. This is what they said:

  • “The mercury scare: if a dentist wants to remove your fillings because they contain mercury, watch your wallet”
  • “The mercury in your mouth: You can avoid amalgam fillings or even replace the ones you have, but should you?”
  • Finally, they wrote an interesting article. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a link, but the title says it all: “Health Schemes, Scams, and Frauds”.

Closing remark: dentists may earn a lot of money by offering their patients to have their amalgam fillings removed. Yet, only a few dentists actively offer this treatment.

Elsewhere on this site, scarists say things like “vaccines are not necessary, doctors only apply them because that makes them some nice easy money”. Surprisingly, this same line of thought is suddenly forgotten when it comes to the removal of amalgam fillings. Of course, it would be perfectly plausible to state that “amalgam removal is not necessary, dentists only do that because that makes them some nice easy money”.

Note that there is no scientific study whatsoever that shows any link between amalgam fillings and any health situation whatsoever. Lots of such studies have been performed, especially after the Internet allowed scaremongers to reach out and infect a larger public. A link between amalgam and whatever situation was never found.

Since there is so much scaremongering since the Internet allowed such fear to spread faster than ever before, even more very detailed studies have been performed. Researchers even went so far as to resort to the best testing method available: they took samples of almost all organs of deceased persons (who, of course, allowed this in their will), to rigorously measure the amount of mercury in their bodies.

The result of this study: there is no relation whatsoever between the amount of amalgam fillings and the number of years these fillings have been in the mouth, and the amount of mercury in whichever body organ.

There is also no relation whatsoever between the amount of amalgam fillings and the number of years these fillings have been in the mouth, and the complaints or illnesses that were reported by the deceased before they died.

As usual, you only need to follow the money. Who would benefit from an amalgam scare? The answer is obvious: those dentists who offer the (generally expensive) replacement of amalgam fillings with composite fillings.

Luckily, most dentists adhere to scientific findings, and they keep the best interest of their patients in mind. These responsible dentists do not go after the big easy money. A minority, though, does go for big easy bucks, and they offer needless and useless interventions. Please stay sane. Don’t fall for them.

I hope you find this information useful. Please let me know if anything is unclear.