American Fork (July 12, 2016) – Dental “silver” fillings have an interesting history. The first mercury dental filling material was made in France in 1816. A Frenchman mixed mercury with shavings from silver coins. It formed a soft paste that could easily be packed into a hole in the tooth, and shaped before it turned hard. This was brought to the US in 1830 and was an instant success. Until that time, the filling materials available were thin lead sheets, gold, cork, tin, wood chips and pine resin. This new filling material was far better – it was inexpensive, easy to use, lasted a long time and sealed the tooth fairly well. It became popular very quickly.
That first filling material was 50% elemental mercury (the liquid shiny stuff in thermometers) and 50% silver. They have not changed much today –they are now 50% mercury, 35% silver and 15% other metals like copper, zinc and tin. These fillings are typically called “amalgams” or “silver fillings”, but Dr. Michelle Jorgensen, at Total Care Dental in American Fork believes this is misleading.
She had nagging health concerns of her own, and was shocked to learn that she had extremely high levels of mercury in her body. She has not placed this kind of filling material for 15 years, but she drills it out of her patient’s teeth every day. After breathing it in day after day, it had started to affect her own health.
“Have you even heard of Mad Hatters?” Jorgensen asks. In the 1800s, hat makers would use mercury to turn fur into felt, the most common hat making material at that time. After repeatedly using this mercury, the hat makers started showing strange behavior. The mercury quite literally was making them mad! And that same mercury is still being used today in nearly 50% of dental offices in the US.
The safety of mercury fillings continues to be a very controversial subject. Dentists have lost their dental licenses over their beliefs about mercury toxicity. However, science and medicine has confirmed that mercury is a poison to our system. Here are some undisputed facts:
- Mercury is the most neuro-toxic, non-radioactive element on the planet. It is more neurotoxic than arsenic or lead, and some mercury toxicologists conclude that no amount of human exposure to mercury vapor has been found to be harmless.
- Dental researchers now concede that mercury vapor is released from unstimulated amalgam fillings 24 hours a day. They do not agree on what this vapor release means for an individual’s health.
- Chewing, brushing, temperature increases (hot liquids or foods), professional tooth polishing (if hygienist does not avoid amalgams), and clenching/grinding have been shown to stimulate the emission of mercury vapor.
- The FDA and the American Dental Association promote amalgam fillings as standard of care dentistry. Dentists who place amalgam fillings do so in good faith, believing in the efficacy, safety, cost-effectiveness, and longevity of amalgams.
- Sweden, Austria, Denmark, and Norway have all banned amalgam fillings.
So… Do mercury fillings affect your health? STUDIES SUPPORT BOTH SIDES OF THE CONTROVERSY. For more information, please contact Dr. Michelle Jorgensen or Laura Moody at Total Care Dental.
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our American Fork, Utah dental practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.
Meet Total Care Dental for Silver Fillings
Specializing In Cosmetic Dentistry, Sedation Dentistry, Holistic Dentistry in American Fork, Utah
Come experience Total Care Dental and you will see that our American Fork, Utah (UT) dentists and staff offer state-of-the-art, quality dental care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including: Provo, Pleasant Grove, Lehi, Orem, Lindon, Alpine Highland, Springville, Spanish Fork and surrounding areas. Whether you are seeking an American Fork, Utah general dentist, sedation dentist, or a completely different approach to dental care, we are here to provide results and the most enjoyable dental visit you will ever have! Call us at (801) 756-3737 and experience the difference with Total Care Dental.
Total Care Dental
12 S 1100 E
American Fork, UT 84003