Dental schools still teach dentists to use mercury silver amalgam fillings and the American Dental Association (ADA) continues to tell the public they are safe. However, recently more and more questions have been raised about the safety of the mercury vapor released from amalgams in patient’s teeth.
This has resulted in a controversy and an ongoing debate about them – with some dentists saying they are safe and some saying they aren’t. This has now evolved to the point where over 50% of practicing dentists are no longer putting amalgam fillings in their patients’ teeth. Also, of interest is that three countries, Norway, Sweden and Denmark have banned the use of mercury amalgam fillings in the dental practice.
In addition, because it has been proven that high levels of toxic mercury vapor are released when amalgam fillings are unsafely removed, I’ve made my office as occupationally mercury safe as possible.
“To that purpose, I use state-of-the art technology, equipment, and safe removal protocols, to protect my patients, my staff, myself and the environment from excessive, and unnecessary, occupational exposure to mercury at my office. Thus, I’ve now made my practice both mercury free (amalgam free) and mercury safe.”
Becoming both an amalgam filling free and mercury safe dental practice was my decision, but I believe that deciding whether to have your existing amalgam fillings removed and replaced must be your choice. Because I place great importance on Patient Education, I feel it is my responsibility to educate my patients about the relationship of oral to overall issues and to provide them with the information required for them to make educated decisions. That is why we provide education and why we also encourage patients to go to the ADA’s website (www.ada.org) to learn more about the pros and cons of removing, or keeping, these fillings. But again, we want to make it clear that the decision to remove and replace these fillings can only be made by you.
Yours in health,
David Villarreal, DDS