Table of Contents
Silver amalgams, commonly called fillings, are made of silver, copper, tin, zinc and about 50% mercury, which is extremely toxic to the human body. If dentists have been using it for about 150 years, it is because mercury was believed to be chemically bound to the other metals in amalgam and not shed from them.
What is said
Many health organizations and governments worldwide have produced documents on the dental amalgam problem: Their recommendations to dentists are in summary to take the following measures:
The controversy of mercury as a dental material derives from three findings supported by hundreds of recent scientific publications.
In fact, mercury has the most toxic organic form in the food chain (methylmercury). It has been estimated by Health Canada that the mean total human exposure to mercury (Hg) is 0.0094 mg Hg / day. Amalgams contribute 50% to this mercury load. Considering published studies on subclinical effects on the central nervous system, Health Canada proposed a tolerable daily intake of 0.000014 milligrams of Hg / kg bw / day. The number of teeth filled with amalgam (which would have produced the maximum permissible exposure) therefore had to be: 1 filling for children and adolescents (3-1 1 years), 3 fillings for adolescents (12-19 years), 4 fillings for adults and elderly.
Health effects of mercury intoxication
Having to summarize over 20,000 scientific publications relating to the health effects of mercury, it must be remembered that this heavy metal:
How does mercury get to your body
Undoubtedly mercury penetrates from the filling into the tooth structure. An analysis of the teeth under the amalgam filling revealed the presence of mercury. The use of radioactive mercury in silver amalgams has also revealed that some of the mercury can reach the pulp.
Amalgams contain on average 1 to 5 grams of mercury. At least 50% of amalgam mercury has been found to be released within 5 years and 80% after 20 years
Let’s do the math: suppose an amalgam contains on average 1 gram of mercury, or 1,000 milligrams, or 1,000,000 mcg. On average, we have 8 in the mouth, therefore 8 grams.
The release of mercury from amalgams occurs in three ways: in the form of vapors at room temperature, in the form of tiny particles that are swallowed and finally as metal ions that pass through the teeth, even reaching the jaw bone.
The greater the number of dental amalgams, the greater the mercury accumulated in the body. Most of the mercury that enters the human body is excreted, but some accumulates in certain organs, especially the kidneys, brain, lungs, liver and gastrointestinal tract.
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