The manager of Blue Healthcare Dentistry, Alberto García Garrido, in this interview, tells us a lot more about dental amalgams and the possible treatment alternatives.
What can be highlighted from Blue Healthcare’s Dentistry area?The mouth is one of the main entry routes into our body, for both pathogens and chemicals. Blue Healthcare’s particular feature is that here we carry out all types of dentistry treatment while taking this into account. And it is true that the dental materials used most often may have serious implications on a systemic level.
What are amalgams?
Amalgams are metal, dental fillings used to fill dental cavities. They are also known as silver and mercury amalgams and are more often recognised by their striking black colour. Half of the composition of these fillings consists of mercury in liquid state and the other half mostly consists of silver metal chips. This mixture produces a slow chemical reaction that causes the hardening and expansion of the mixture, sometimes taking a full day to harden completely.
Who can have them?
Their use has been prohibited and restricted in the European Union since the Minamata Convention in 2013. According to the Official Journal of Europe of 2017 in Spain, this was in January 2018, rather late compared with other countries such as Norway and Switzerland. Unfortunately, amalgams were widely used in this country until the 1990s, as the material is easy to use and is very durable. A large proportion of the middle-aged population has these amalgams.
Why would it be harmful to have them?
Old studies from the 80s showed that there was mercury present in the respiratory systems of patients with old amalgams. Many studies of the period concluded that the concentration was very low and that there was no risk to health, although they were describing sensitivity cases. More recent studies have found mercury stored in bodies in post-mortem such as in the brain, thyroid gland or kidneys, among others. Mercury may also be found in the blood and urine of a patient with amalgams. In the present day, many studies relate its presence with chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune thyroiditis, Chrohn’s Disease, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, oral lichen planus, Sjogren’s syndrome and lupus erythematosus, among others. Curiously, in our country, mercury thermometers were prohibited before mercury itself, which has been used directly in our mouths.
Is it advisable to remove them?
Yes, as it’s the only way to stop the constant exposure to mercury without extracting teeth. Many patients show high levels of mercury and other heavy metals in their body and the removal of these fillings is an important step for the following systematic chelation, which allows us to purify these metals.
Can they be removed anywhere?
Provided that the removal and replacement is carried out under adequate safety protocol. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology describes a protocol based on both the patient’s and odontologist’s protection from the vapour and particles released in the process. A removal without protocol means a huge release of vapour and a high risk of breathing in the latter. In its vapour form, up to 80% of the inhaled mercury will pass into the blood system. At Blue Healthcare we use a protocol and highly-trained personnel, with all the medical equipment and technology required for these removals.
What alternatives are there to amalgams?
Currently, the most common filling is with compound or composite resins, which are a mixture of an organic or resin matrix with an inorganic matrix, which is the filling that gives it strength and toughness. The most commonly used resin in these composites is the BIS-GMA or bisphenol A and its derivatives. These have proved to be endocrine transducers that affect our endocrine system. At Blue Healthcare, we avoid the use of these materials; we should not disrupt hormones.
More information on the area of Dentistry and Stomatology at: https://www.bluehealthcare.es/en/longevity-area/dentistry-and-stomatology-unit/
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