Tag Archives: white 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.

 

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 said white fillings aren’t good

I wanted to get a white filling, but my dentist said they’re not very good.  I’m really disappointed, because the other fillings have mercury in them and I am just not comfortable with the idea. Are the white fillings really that bad?

Dylan L. – New Orleans

Dylan,

I disagree completely with your dentist. I suspect hat the reason he is discouraging you from white fillings is that he’s not qualified to place them.  It could be he’s an older dentist. It isn’t until recently that some dentist schools started teaching how to do composite fillings. They take post graduate training to learn to place. I’m guessing he never did it.

The fact is composite (white) fillings strengthen your teeth, whearas their amalgam (silver) counterparts weaken your teeth. Don’t pressure your dentist to place it.  If he doesn’t have the training, it could end up a disaster.

The safest way to make sure you can get a well-place mercury-free filling, is to go to holistic dentist.  They only place mercury-free fillings. And, they’re trained to place them.

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.

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.

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.