What can be said? It's a modern day Pandora's Box!
There are many topics being discussed, and there are of course, two sides to every argument. There are three specific topics that we feel are worth mentioning here, as they impact the way we provide dentistry on a day-to-day basis. Fluoride, Root Canal Therapy, and Mercury Amalgam Fillings.
Coming Soon! - We are currently engaged in a comprehensive analysis of recent scientific studies surrounding the topical use of fluoride in the prevention of tooth decay.
Root Canal Therapy - Controversial? Absolutely!
According to the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT)
"We Still Need Root Canal Treatment.
Despite the fact that there are serious objections to the use of root canal treatment in dentistry, due to the persistence of microbes in the dentinal tubules, the inaccessible microscopic spaces in the root, the fact remains that it is an ingrained part of our professional culture. it was easy to convert to mercury-free restorative dentistry once good alternatives became available, but the only alternative to endodontics is extraction."
From a biologic perspective, we believe that root canal therapy should be avoided. However, in some instances, it may be the best treatment option for the patient. Ulimately, routine dental visits, balanced nutrition free from sugar and processed junk foods, and practising good oral hygiene, is the best method to avoid root canals and other costly and extensive dental treatment.
Should I Remove My Amalgam Fillings? You decide.
You put WHAT in my mouth?
The debate surrounding the use of amalgam fillings is one of the hottest topics in scientific dental circles around the globe. At it's core is the question, does the mercury component of amalgam contribute to negative physiological conditions in the human body? Simply put, is it safe? Both sides of the debate have produced signifcant scientific bodies of evidence supporting their positions, thus making it difficult to decide who is right.
Let's consider something we can all connect with, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL). It is probably safe to say that most people know what they are, and in all likelyhood have them in their homes. The interesting part is that because they contain mercury, specifically mercury vapor, many fluorescent lamps are classified as hazardous waste. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that fluorescent lamps be segregated from general waste for recycling or safe disposal. So, if the EPA classifies mercury vapor as "hazardous waste" how can it be safe to use mercury containing amalgam fillings which have been proven to release mercury vapor through the simple act of chewing?
A second consideration: The process of placing an amalgam filling in a tooth and having it stay there relies in large part on mechanical retention. That is, the amalgam material is not "bonded" or "attached" to the tooth, it is simply placed in the tooth. As a result, the space between the enamel or dentin of your tooth and the amalgam is not sealed. This in turn provides access for moisture and bacteria to travel under the amalgam filling and begin the process of decay.
In the picture sequence above, it is quite easy to see the necrotic tissue that was found underneath the amalgam of this patient's teeth.
So, to answer the question "Should I Remove My Amalgam Fillings?", we believe the answer is a resounding yes (unless you are pregnant or lactating). Mercury vapor is continuously emitted from dental fillings and accumulates in the body over time. The damaging effects of this exposure may not manifest for years or even decades. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that even low levels of mercury cause measurable adverse health effects.
Mercury in the tissues of a fetus or infant correlates significantly with the number of dental amalgam fillings in the mother. Newborns may be at risk for learning disabilities because of mercury their mother absorbed during pregnancy. Many physicians are testing their patients for mercury toxicity and referring them to biological dentists. Across scientific disciplines, health professionals are realizing that mercury may adversely impact patient health.
It has been scientifically proven that mercury is a neurotoxic substance, so regardless of how little mercury vapor is released by the amalgam in your fillings, do you really want to be exposed to it at all?