Tag Archives: Mercury-free dentist

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.

Do I Need to Go to Taiwan for a Holistic Dentist?

I have a toothache. I need to see a dentist. I talked to my aunt about it. She said any dentist in the states would give me a mercury filled filling. She wants me to wait until spring break and come see her in Taiwan. It hurts a lot so I was thinking if I could get a holistic dentist here I wouldn’t have to wait to go to Taiwan.

Wei L. – San Fransisco

Wei,

I wouldn’t wait for Taiwan, for three reasons.

  1. You are more likely for it to turn into an infection if you wait. That will not only mean a more extensive treatment, it could cost you the tooth.
  2. You’d have to fly to get to Taiwan. The air pressure will reek havoc on an already salty tooth. You’d spend the entire trip in absolute misery.
  3. All the risk and pain would be for nothing, because you can get a holistic dentist right here in the states.

Do an internet search for “holistic dentist” or “mercury free dentist“. Most dentists these days do composite fillings and will cater to patients who want to avoid mercury.

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.

Why does my holistic dentist used sealants with BPA?

I recently went to a clinic listed as a holistic, yet he uses sealants that have BPA. What’s up with that?

Monica R. – Palm Springs

Monica,

Each holistic dentist is different.  There isn’t a regulation for being labled holistic. Some are just mercury free. Some are mercury and BPA free.  Be careful. There are some who call themselves holistic and are perfectly willing to remove and replace your amalgam fillings, but don’t know about sanitary removal.

It’s kind of hard to tell what you’re getting. If you have strong feelings about certain types of treatment, it will be important to discuss this ahead of time. You’ll want to find the dentist who, even if he doesn’t do only holistic treatments, is willing to work within your desires and concerns. Communication is the key.

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

A correlation between silver (mercury) fillings and migraines?

Migraines have always plagued me. Since my teen years they have only intensified. Me and my doctor have looked for all kinds of causes and correlations to try and get them under control. I just hide in a dark corner when they come and take as much pain medication as I can tolerate. But there has to be a reason! The latest topic I have been researching is linking migraines with old, silver amalgam fillings. When I discussed the correlation between these mercury-containing fillings and my migraines, my dentist refuted the claim. He said there is no conclusive evidence to support this finding. But I literally am at my wits end and am considering having the old silver fillings removed and replaced with white composite fillings. Do you think this is worth a try?

– Loretta in Texas

Loretta,

The safety of amalgam fillings is and has been quite controversial lately. This is because amalgam fillings contain mercury in them. It is proven that mercury is a toxic substance. That said, the American Dental Association still feels that amalgam fillings are completely safe. Although, since there have been great advances in dental technology and bonding techniques, dentists do have another option. Many dentists no longer place them at all in their practice in support of this mercury-free dentistry movement.

That said, it isn’t common place to have every old silver filling removed. Yet, there are holistic dentists out there that support your philosophy that mercury is a toxic substance and some feel that negative health effects may be correlated. So you need to look for a natural or holistic dentist that shares this sentiment. One way to find this kind of dentist is one that offer sanitary amalgam removal services. You want to make sure that the dentist will take extra precautions to keep you safe throughout the procedure so prohibit you from infesting or breathing in the harmful mercury. It is understandable that you are considering having this done. No one deserves to feel miserable and if there is a chance this could help the frequency of intensity of your migraines, it may be worth it.

Good luck!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Can silver mercury fillings leak?

I have a friend that takes a naturalistic approach to everything in her life. From her diet and the personal products she uses, to her healthcare, and even dentistry. She was telling me that silver fillings have mercury in them that can leak over time. Is this true? Do I need to have them removed?

– Alyssa in Oregon

Alyssa,

The beauty of the day and age that we live in is that we have so many choices when it comes to the food and products we buy, as well as the dental and healthcare providers we use.

Dentists have been using silver amalgam fillings (which do contain mercury) to fill cavities for over a hundred years. With the progression of dental technology and the techniques used, there is another option available to dentists now to fill cavities. Although, it is worth noting that the American Dental Association still takes the stance that amalgam fillings are completely safe. That said, many dentists see the benefits in choosing the mercury-free filling materials.

Here are some reasons that people choose to have amalgam replaced.  Overtime the mercury that is present in these older fillings can be released into your body. This toxic substance can make you ill or have other negative affects on your health. Since mercury is such a dangerous substance many people want to avoid it or have it removed from their mouth. And that is understandable.

Many holistic dentists offer the white composite resin and don’t even do amalgam fillings anymore. Aside from them being mercury-free, there are many benefits to white composite fillings. The bonding technology used to place the white fillings actually makes the tooth stronger and there is less post-operative sensitivity. Not only are they a more holistic choice, but they look nicer too.

So your friend isn’t alone in taking a holistic approach in realizing how dental care is correlated to the overall wellness of a person. There are some other holistic dentists out there that take things a step further, beyond sanitary amalgam removal. Some of these natural dentists that share this sentiment use materials that are BPA-free, bio-compatible, and also will honor Cliffords Sensitivity Testing results.

So you probably don’t need to run out and have all your amalgam fillings replaced immediately, but moving forward it may be something to consider when choosing a filling material. Also, it would be good to know where your dentists lies in the broad spectrum of holistic dentistry methods.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Looking for a dentist that is holistic.

I try to keep things as natural and holistic as possible. I realize that goes against the grain with Western medicine and dentistry but I believe it best to eat organically, buy natural materials, beauty products, etc. So why would I compromise my belief when it comes to dentistry. I have heard terrible things about mercury-containing fillings. Did you know that they can leak into your body. Anyway, I want to find a dentist that embraces my holistic lifestyle.

– Jade in Tennessee

Jade,

You are not alone in your holistic dentist preferences. There are thousands of individuals that feel strongly about natural products and materials. And today more than ever, it appears all facets of modern medicine are practiced traditionally and alternatively. Dentistry is no different.

Holistic dentistry is the alternative practice to dentistry that promotes health and wellness, not just treatment of disease. Also coined biological or natural dentistry, this approach focuses on natural healing and believes oral health is connected to their entire physical, emotional, and even spiritual health. Essentially the belief is that dental health and the health of the whole body are interrelated. The basic principles for holistic dental practices are as follows:

  • Proper nutrition for the prevention and reversal of degenerative dental disease
  • Avoidance and elimination of toxins from dental materials
  • Prevention and treatment of dental malocclusion (bite problems=physical imbalance)
  • Prevention and treatment of gum disease at its biological basis

The treatment you receive in the holistic dentist’s office is different from the typical dentistry you may be used to. Natural dentists have strong opposition to the use of amalgams which contain mercury and other potentially toxic materials in dental fillings and are typically mercury-free dentists. Meaning, not only do they not use them, they will always suggest removing them from your mouth. They believe a root canal treatment poses a danger to systematic health by the spread of trapped dental bacteria through the body. They also tend to use non-surgical approaches to gum disease. They focus strongly on home care, immune system support through proper nutrition and environment.

All holistic dentists complete the same professional training that conventional dentists go to earn their degrees. Many of them may have practiced conventional dentistry at one time or another, before completing additional training in what they find to be a more productive method. Though board certified, they practice alternative methods not traditionally endorsed by their local state dental board.

There are a lot of skeptics and critics of this type of dentistry, and alternative medicine in general. However, to the holistic-minded patient like you, this is just another step on their journey to achieve optimal health the natural way.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

 

How do you know if a dentist uses mercury or not?

Are there any specific standards or organizations that can assist one in finding a holistic dentist? I don’t want dangerous ingredients placed in my mouth and from what I can tell all amalgam fillings have mercury in them. Do most dentists still use amalgams? How do I find one that doesn’t?

– Paul in Rhode Island

Paul,

Every amalgam filling does contain mercury. But the simplest way to find a mercury-free dentist is to simply ask. Many dentists build their practices around holistic dentistry techniques. In fact, even if you don’t realize it, it may be hard to find dentists that still use amalgam fillings. Let us just state for the record that the American Dental Association still deems amalgam (silver) fillings to be completely safe. So this is a dentist’s discretion that leads them to the services and materials provided in individual practices.

Although, it is very understandable that patients are concerned with having mercury placed in their mouth. White fillings are actually bonded to the tooth and offer many benefits over amalgam. They actually strengthen the tooth structure, require less drilling of the natural tooth structure away, have less post-operative sensitivity, and they look much nicer too. In fact, you won’t even be able to see where the natural tooth ends and the filling material begins.

There are some “old school” dentists that hold on to the “tried and true” ways of dentistry. But when you start researching this topic, you will find that the majority of dentists have embraced the new advances in bonding and offer white composite for patients.

Hopefully this information was helpful to you!

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Tooth pain from Invisalign treatment

I am using Invisalign to straighten my teeth and am currently on my forth tray of aligners. I have a total of nine sets to complete, so I guess I’m about half way there. Anyway, I noticed a pain in a premolar. This tooth is one that has an old filling in it. So I think my dentist would like to get a new filling but he used a temporary filling with medication in it. He said the medication would help to ease the pain in the nerve. But it’s been a few days now and the tooth is killing me. Do you think the increase in aggravation is from the temporary treatment he just did?

– Louis in Oregon

Louis,

Any kind of orthodontics treatment, including Invisalign, places pressure on the teeth to move them into the correct position. And this increase in pressure may make your teeth more sensitive while chewing. The Invisalign system places pressure on the soft tissue around your teeth, as well as the tooth itself. Some pain from this treatment is not uncommon. Although, it sounds like that old filling is really bothering you.

The treatment your dentist did is more of a precaution. He or she is probably wanting to see if that helps with the tooth pain. There is always a possibility that the old filling may have a small crack or may even be beginning to leak around the exterior of the filling. Bacteria can get into the small crevices that surround the filling. This could also be what is causing you discomfort. And if that is the case, it will be difficult to clean it out.

A temporary filling will help to reduce the sensitivity and may seal the tooth better to protect the nerve center or pulp of the tooth. If the decay has reached the pulp, than you may require additional treatment. This is because if the nerve dies, you will need a root canal treatment to save the tooth. All that said, the pain may take several days to subside. It would be good to followup with your dentist in a week or two if the pain is still lingering. An x-ray will be able to provide better information to treat this issue properly. If the filling is okay it still sounds like a replacement filling may be in order. White composite fillings are a great solution for the replacement treatment. They bond to the tooth to make it stronger and they are mercury-free. Ask you dentist if he or she does white composite. There are many mercury-free dentists out there that don’t even place silver amalgam fillings anymore.

Hopefully this answered your question.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Dr. Steve Bader of Ultimate Aesthetics.

Bonding and Whitening

I’m finally going to be able to get a chip on my front tooth repaired. I’ve been saving up for this all year. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting my teeth whitened in a few months also, but wondered how it would affect the bonding I’m getting done on my front tooth. Will whitening damage bonding?

Kevin- Baltimore

Kevin,

Teeth Whitening will not affect your bonding at all, and that includes actually whitening it. Whatever color your bonding is when it is placed on your tooth, that is the whitest it will ever be. Therefore, my recommendation would be to have your teeth whitened first  to the whitening level you desire, and then have your dental bonding done to match it.

This blog is brought to you by Mercury-free dentist Dr. Steve Bader.