Seeking advice about amalgam filling removal
February 4, 2013 1:43 AM Subscribe
Should I go to my regular dentist or seek a holistic/biological dentist? Does anyone in Vancouver, BC, have a recommendation?
posted by branparsons to health & fitness (5 answers total)
I have one amalgam filling left and am considering getting it removed. I actually had several more (I like sweets :( ) for most of my adolescence, but four years ago, a dentist replaced them all with the white composite. I didn't do it because I was worried about the amalgam -- this dentist claimed I had like, 13 cavities or something insane (when no dentist had told me that before).
I know people will either say there is no harm in keeping this filling (my current dentist says the mercury is 'not active' and not a problem unless the filling is breaking down, etc.), and people who say the mercury is certainly leeching. I personally prefer the composite replacement for aesthetic reasons, and would rather not worry at all about any potential risks.
Now my problem... I am feeling more anxious about the removal of the amalgam. My current dentist is great and I trust him. He does work for many members of my family and has been around a very long time. After a bit of research, I've learned amalgam fillings should be removed with a strict protocol and performed by a dentist specially trained in removal, as the procedure means a peak exposure, particularly from vapors. I asked my dentist's office what they would do, and they say they will use a rubber dam, have high-power suction, and use lots of water (to not heat up the filling). I've read that the holistic/biological dentists will use the full-on alternate oxygen supply for the patient and use masks for themselves, and offer information on chelating any mercury afterwards.
I have an appointment with my regular dentist this week for this filling and feel torn. Do I go to my dentist and just try not to worry about the oxygen/vapor part? I know he has a lot of experience and would be careful otherwise. I already read taking chlorella will help with chelating. Plus, it is just one surface filling.
Or, should I seek the biological dentist for this one filling replacement? I would probably feel a bit more confident, but there are the other factors... Cost, for one. The biological dentists seem much more expensive. I am not even sure that they would just do the one job, without saying "We need to do full X-Rays, etc., etc." And plus, is doing one job with another dentist seen as 'switching' (do not want to do!) and risking my relationship with my current dentist? On top of it all, I have looked at the directory for dentists in my area that do the special removal, and had to check some reviews... just to kind of balance a decision. They weren't great reviews. If you recommend this route, and have used a dentist who uses this protocol and live in the Vancouver, BC, area, could you please let me know which dentist you used? (Please don't tell me how awful mercury is -- I know.)
Added note: I'm pretty sure that other dentist, who replaced my other amalgam fillings, didn't use any ventilation equipment and while perhaps not ideal, I don't recall any negative effects afterwards (I hope?!) I think that was at least 5 fillings replaced.
Thank you very much in advance for reading all the above and for any advice!