There is increased concern among patients today regarding the controversy over mercury-content fillings, better known as silver or amalgam fillings. There have been arguments made for and against the amalgam fillings. The American Dental Association has maintained its view regarding safety in the use of amalgam fillings, since its original statement in 1991.
On the other side of the spectrum, mercury is thought to be linked to various neurological, immunological, systemic, gastrointestinal, oral, and cardiovascular disorders. It is known that mercury accumulates in various tissues and organs (brain, liver, kidney) over long periods of time. Several European countries have banned the use of amalgam fillings for several years now.
In our office, we have not used amalgam fillings for many years. Much care is given to protect the well-being of the patients when the old amalgam fillings are removed. As the amalgam fillings are removed, mercury vapor is emitted to the surrounding environment, and as a result we have protocols and equipment in our office to minimize the chance of re-absorption of mercury vapors by our patients, as well as ourselves.
Mercury detoxification or chelation is the method used to remove or extract mercury that has accumulated in the tissues. After the removal of the amalgam fillings, you may wish to be referred to a naturopathic physician that has experience in mercury chelation.
There are different methods of chelation for mercury. The naturopathic physician will recommend one that is appropriate based on the levels of mercury in your body. The following are commonly used chelating agents for mercury:
- Sodium Dimercaptopropanesul-fonate (DMPS):
This is a strong chelating agent that is administered intravenously. It extracts mercury from lower case many organs and tissues, however, it does not cross the blood-brain barrier
- Dimercaptosuccinic Acid (DMSA):
This is a compound similar to DMPS, but less potent. It is administered orally. It crosses the blood-brain barriers, and will require more treatments.
- Vitamin C
This is a natural chelating agent for the extraction of heavy metals.