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If you’re reading this, you’ve probably got some old silver fillings in your mouth and you’re worried about the mercury exposure. You’ve considered replacing them with composite fillings to stop the mercury from leaching into your body, but you’re not sure if it’s a good idea.
Those who oppose silver fillings will tell you it’s worth it to make the switch for the long term benefits. But it’s worth noting that the process of removing them can expose you to even more mercury in the short term.
How do “silver” fillings expose you to mercury?
“Silver fillings” are a bit of a misnomer, because nearly half of the filling is actually elemental mercury by weight.
While dentists take every precaution possible as they fill your cavities, small amounts of mercury vapor are inevitably released when silver fillings are put into your mouth, and again when they are taken out.
The longer-term concern is that mercury vapor may be released from the fillings when you grind your teeth at night, chew food, brush your teeth and drink hot liquids.
Replacing silver fillings
The good news is that there is a safer way to replace silver fillings and some insurance plans cover as much as 60% to 100% of the cost. Just be sure to find a dentist who is specifically trained and experienced in replacing mercury fillings.
The process can be expensive, but you may find that persistent fatigue, yeast infections and other symptoms of mercury toxicity begin to disappear.
Good to know
The US FDA considers the amount of vapor released from fillings to be safe for adults and children over six years of age, and does not recommend removing fillings that are not problematic.
By contrast, autopsy studies reported by the National Institutes of Health have shown that dental amalgams do cause mercury toxicity in the body and may be linked to a host of serious neurological disorders and health issues from autism/ADHD to Alzheimer’s.
Silver amalgams have been banned in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Meanwhile, dentists throughout the US and Europe are choosing to phase them out independently.