Amalgam fillings are not placed in my practice, as there are numerous reasons that go against using this toxic material from my point of view.
In 2018, amalgam is still seen by German health insurers as standard care – free for the patients – but on the other hand, we dentists have to treat it as hazardous waste and recycle it accordingly.
Outside of humans, amalgam is classified as toxic hazardous waste.
So-called amalgam separators are used to make sure that the amalgam that we dentists remove from the mouth doesn’t find its way into the water cycle.
Effective 1 July 1995, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) laid out restrictions for applying amalgam.
Among other things, it is regulated here that amalgam should not be applied in the following circumstances:
Amalgam allergy (proven)
Women and girls of childbearing age
Children under six years of age
Patients with severe renal dysfunction
Retrograde root fillings
In Sweden, the use of mercury was generally banned in 2009 by the Ministry of Environment.
50 per cent of amalgam is made up of liquid mercury and the rest of it consists of a powder made up of silver, tin, copper, indium, mercury and zinc.
The most severe argument against amalgam is the possible health risks that arise from the high 51 per cent mercury content. Every day, small amounts of mercury dissolve from dental amalgam, e.g. when chewing and brushing teeth. This process is amplified by, for example, chewing gum and grinding teeth.
In addition, the other components of amalgam are toxic (poisonous), too.
Mercury vapours are particularly dangerous, as they are completely absorbed in the alveoli. From there, the mercury finds its way into the blood and thereby within minutes through the whole body. In this form, it can directly cross the protective barrier of our brain, the blood-brain barrier, and cause serious damage to the nervous system here.
Inorganic mercury compounds are excreted by the kidneys and can damage them severely.
Organic mercury compounds are absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. They are transmissible both through the placenta and through breast milk.
When an amalgam filling is removed, more mercury compounds are released from the amalgam, which is why we do not replace every amalgam filling in our practice at random.
We survey every tooth with magnifying glasses, special lighting and an intraoral video camera.
With this process, we detect damage or indication of damage quickly. We will be happy to explain to you which fillings should ideally be replaced.
You are also welcome to ask us for a second opinion for a treatment that you are planning to undergo.