Tag Archives: mercury-free 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.