Tag Archives: amalgam fillings

Would a Holistic Dentist Remove My Metal Fillings?

I have several metal fillings which I recently learned contain mercury. I was astonished. I went to my dentist and asked him to remove them and put in the white fillings instead, which I’m told don’t have mercury. He said that wasn’t a good idea. While he can give me white fillings in the future, taking out the metal fillings would expose me to mercury vapors. Aren’t I exposed to that already? Would a holistic dentist help? I hear they don’t believe in metal fillings.

Charissa E.

Dear Charissa,

You aren’t the only patient who’s been surprised to learn what is in their old-fashioned, silver-colored fillings. They’re called amalgam fillings because they’re made up of various metals. But, the largest metal content is mercury.

While you are inhaling some mercury vapors from your filling, removing them releases substantially more. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with them though. They can be replaced with white (composite) fillings, which as you’ve heard are mercury-free. You just have to go to the right dentist to do it.

Can Holistic Dentists Safely Remove Amalgam fillings?

There are two types of dentists who generally understand the importance of getting rid of amalgam fillings. The first is to go to a holistic dentist. They’ll know how to do what is called a sanitary amalgam removal. This protects you from both mercury vapors and from swallowing bits of filling that contain the mercury during the removal process. I recommend Holistic dentists first because they always take more precautions with what they introduce to your body, thinking more about your whole health instead of just your teeth.

However, some patients don’t live near a holistic dentist. In that case, I’d recommend a mercury-free dentist. Many of them also perform sanitary amalgam removals as well. Just be sure to ask that they know the procedure and practice it regularly first.

Once the white fillings are finished, their color can’t be changed. Your dentist will match them to the color of your teeth. If you’ve got very stained teeth, as many adults do, you might want to consider having teeth whitening done prior to having your fillings removed. This will give you a nice healthy white color to match your composite fillings to.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Is It True Holistic Dentists Don’t Believe in Root Canal Treatments?

I was considering going to a holistic dentist because I like the idea of considering the whole body in treatment and not having to worry about getting a filling loaded with mercury. But, my sister told me they don’t believe in root canal treatments. I’m worried they’ll just extract a problem tooth that could have been saved with a root canal treatment.

Marissa L.

Dear Marissa,

Boston Holistic Dentist

That’s a great question. You’re right to be wary of unnecessarily extracting a tooth, when it can be saved. There is a fringe group of holistic dentists who feel that doing a root canal treatment leaves some bacteria in your teeth, leaving you at risk.

But, if you look at it logically, we always have both good and bad bacteria in our teeth. In fact, that’s one of the ways we build up our immune system. If we never had any bacteria in our system, our bodies would not know how to fight anything and could become overwhelmed.

Most holistic dentists, however, realize this and will confidently give a patient a root canal treatment when needed.  I’d simply ask them up front what their policy is on root canals. If for some reason, you can’t find a holistic dentist in your area, you can still get treatment without having to worry about a mouth full of mercury.

There are mercury-free dentists who will only place the white, composite fillings which contain no toxic substances. In fact, Mercury-free dentists are becoming more and more common as composite fillings are becoming the standard treatment, rather than their amalgam cousins. While amalgam fillings were useful in their time, we’ve made many advancements which no longer makes them necessary.

I hope this brings you some peace of mind.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Help Me Understand Why the US is Ignoring the Mercury Treaty

I can’t figure out what’s going on. I’ve been trying to talk to dentists about the treaty that the U.S. signed agreeing to phase out mercury fillings. It seems we’re ignoring it and no one is paying attention. If they signed it does that mean they’ve finally admitted those fillings are dangerous? There aren’t holistic dentists in my area, so I’m trying to get the regular ones to understand my strong feelings about this. Why are we ignoring the treaty?

Monica L.

Dear Monica,

I believe you’re referring to the Minamata Convention on Mercury. It wasn’t referring to mercury fillings, except in the case of how they’re disposed of. It focuses on mercury poisoning in the water, named in honor of the Japanese city which was devastated by mercury poisoning.

As  far as the FDA is concerned, mercury fillings are perfectly safe; though, understandably, many patients are uncomfortable packing their teeth with mercury. However, I don’t want you to feel trapped into getting amalgam fillings. They’re the ones which have the mercury content.

Even if you don’t have holistic dentists in your area, you can still get composite (white fillings). I’d call around and look for a mercury free dentist. They work exclusively with composite fillings.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Will Dental Insurance Allow Me to See a Holistic Dentist?

I want to see a holistic dentist. I’m having trouble finding that in my provider directory. I know that my medical insurance doesn’t let me see a “natural” doctor. Is dental insurance the same way?

Cynthia L. – Georgia

Cynthia,

Medical and Dental insurance both work similarly and differently. They both have provider directories. They both have codes for procedures that are covered. However, medical insurance has twenty-four specialties and dental insurance has nine.

One thing to bear in mind is that there is no recognized “Holistic Dentistry” specialty. You’ll go to a general dentist who holds a holistic treatment philosophy. It will be billed as a general dentist.

What you’ll come up against is that your dentist will be a mercury free dentist who gives you a white filling, but your insurance will only pay the cost of an amalgam filling. You’ll have to make up the difference.

However, that will happen whether you use a holistic dentist or not. The key is to find a dentist you love, who practices the type of dentistry you’re comfortable with. Then you and the dentist can work out ways to get the most out of your insurance.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

 

Are Holistic Dentists Actual Dentists?

There’s a business that moved into my area that advertises as a holistic dentist. Is that the same as a dentist that went to dental school or are they just one of these natural docs that consider themselves medical professionals but aren’t? It would be nice to have a dentist close, but I want to make sure he’s legit first.

Hannah L. – North Dakota

Hannah,

Only actual dentists, who’ve graduated from dental school, are allowed to call themselves dentists. As long as the dentist has a DMD or DDS on their diploma they’re a dentist.

The only difference between a holistic dentist and any other dentist is their philosophy of treatment. A holistic dentist considers the whole body, not just your mouth and teeth.

They’ll be much more aware of any substances that are used in your medical care. For instance, they wouldn’t give you an amalgam filling, because of the mercury content. They’ll give you a composite filling instead, because they’re mercury free.

So, go ahead and try out that new dentist. You might be thrilled.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Should I Switch to a Holistic Dentist While Pregnant?

I am pregnant. I’m thrilled and cannot wait until my little bundle arrives. In the meantime, I have to figure out what to do about my dentist. I have a cavity. I just don’t know what to do. My dentist is insisting I get an amalgam filling. I can’t believe he would want me to put mercury in my body while I’m pregnant. He’s insisting the other fillings aren’t as good. Should I switch to a holistic dentist?

Brenna H. – Philadelphia

Brenna,

Congratulations! How exciting that you’re going to have a new member in your family. I love that you’re already doing everything you can to protect your baby and his or her health.

I agree with you about the amalgam fillings. There’s no reason why you should get an amalgam filling whether or not you’re pregnant. My guess is the only reason he’s pressing the amalgam filling issue is because he is uneducated in the procedure for composite fillings.

In your case, I would look for a holistic dentist, or at least a mercury free dentist. They’ll be familiar with composite fillings as well as other ways of doing clean dentistry.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.

Can you get rid of amalgam fillings?

I have some silver fillings and have just started getting serious about my health–mostly due to health problems. I’ve gone to clean eating. I exercise every day. I’m wanting to get rid of my old silver fillings because 1. they’re getting old and 2. they’re loaded with mercury. I just didn’t know if I was stuck with them or if they can be removed.

Mercedes – Louisiana

Mercedes,

Congratulations on all the incredible things you’ve done for your health. I can understand you not wanting to have any toxic substances in your system after all that hard work, especially if you’re having health problems.

You can get rid of your old silver (amalgam) fillings. In fact, if they’re very old, you will likely need to replace them so they don’t start leaking.

One caveat would be that you should go to a holistic dentist to have them removed. You want someone who can do sanitary amalgam removal.  That will protect you from inhaling any mercury vapors.  It’s possible your dentist can do sanitary removal, but make sure he or she understands about a rubber dam, Isolite, and can get an alternate breathing source to ensure that you breathe pure oxygen throughout the duration of the procedure.

If your dentist doesn’t do that, a holistic dentist will.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Where can I go to get a filling without mercury in it?

I need my first dental filling, but my dentist just does silver fillings. I’ve done some research and I don’t want any mercury in my mouth. Where can I get a filling that doesn’t contain any?

Amelia H. – New Hampshire

Amelia,

I’m surprised your dentist only does the silver amalgam fillings.  Most dentists do both amalgam and composite fillings these days.  But, not yours I guess. Composite fillings, also known as whilte fillings, are completely mercury free.

The fastest way to find a dentist who can give you a mercury free filing is to look for a holistic dentist. They will never put in anything that contains mercury into your mouth.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

Pediatric dentist wants to use fillings with mercury

I told my pediatric dentist I didn’t want to use the silver fillings because of the mercury content. He insists that children can’t do white fillings. I’m just not interested in mercury fillings at all. Are there any other options?

Emily D. – Nevada

Emily,

Parents want the best for their children, so I understand your not wanting to put anything containing mercury into your child’s mouth.  It’s not impossible to put white fillings in a child’s mouth, but it is difficult. They have to be still throughout the procedure.

You’ll have to decide if that is possible for your child to do that. There are sedation options if you don’t think so.  If your dentist isn’t willing, you should try a holistic dentist. They don’t place amalgam fillings, so you’ll not have to worry about the mercury. However, make sure they are not just OK treating children, but they enjoy it.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic  Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.

My dentist refuses to do a white filling

I recently found out that there is a significant amount of mercury in silver fillings. I have a cavity and need to get a filling, but don’t want any more mercury in my mouth than I already have. But, my dentist refuses to do a white filling. He says they’re not as good.

Audrey P. – Maine

Audrey,

You’re right that there is mercury in silver (amalgam) fillings. In fact, they are 50% mercury.  Though the ADA has declared them safe, many patients just aren’t comfortable with the idea of mercury in their bodies. It is their body, so they have the right to determine what they put in it.

It’s likely your dentist doesn’t know how to place white (composite) fillings and that is why he is putting you off. I wouldn’t force him, because they take extra training to learn. He’s likely to do it wrong and then you’ll be in pain.

My suggestion is that you look for a holistic dentist to do the filling for you. They always do mercury-free fillings and will be happy to do a white filling for you.

This blog is brought to you by Newton, MA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Steve Bader.