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Holistic Dental Centre
44-56 Queens Drive, Lower Hutt, WELLINGTON, NZ
Tel: 04.569 9320 / Fax: 04 570 2376 --------------------------------------------

Amalgam Removal

Consent Form for Amalgam Removal...

So what is all the fuss about my amalgam fillings? Plenty of other people have them and they seem to be OK!

It has been known for centuries that mercury is toxic.

Silver amalgam is a compound that has been used to fill people's teeth for the past 160 years (and before that in ancient Egyptian times). When modern amalgam fillings were re-introduced the technology of the times was such that leaches were used to cure mental illness. In the mid 1800's dentists in the U.S.A. who used gold leaf were against the use of base metals contained in mercury amalgam by untrained tradesmen. The schism that developed between these two groups of dentists resulted in the formation of the pro-amalgam A.D.A.

It has been shown that mercury vapour comes off these fillings and it has been suggested and shown that this mercury can be methylated. Methyl mercury compounds are more toxic than other forms of mercury as their lipophilic ( fat seeking ) character causes an increased mobility in organisms compared to inorganic mercury.

Dentistry's silver amalgam is composed of a powder containing approximately 33-37% silver, 3-6% copper, 12-13% tin, and 1% zinc mixed with mercury, such that the final mixture contains 48-52% mercury. Today dental alloy manufacturers are turning to what is termed "state of the art" amalgam, or high copper amalgam which contains around 30% copper.

The work of Savare (1972,1981,1984) and Vimy (1985) documents the fact that mercury escapes from silver amalgam fillings. Brune (1984) showed that mercury is released from the high copper amalgams ( 30% copper) 50 times faster than conventional amalgam (3-6% copper). The question is how much of a toxic substance is bad for you.

These are the guidelines currently followed in my practice as of 22.06.2001:

At an initial consultation a full mouth examination including radiographs is undertaken. You will be advised if composite is not strong enough in any of your teeth and advised of alternatives. A quote will be given and you will be advised that we cannot promise you any benefits to your health by carrying out any dental procedures. A consent form will be explained to you and you will need to sign this before I agree to treat you. It is the current view point of the New Zealand Department of Health, the New Zealand Dental Association that the mercury in dental amalgam poses no particular health threat.

If you have had the electrical charges on your fillings measured then we can advise you of the order in which we will carry out your treatment. Mr Geoffrey Jones who currently visits our practice on Thursdays can do this for you, as well as testing which dental materials suit you best. In addition he can give you the homeopathic support you need to eliminate mercury from your tissues.

Treatment
For the best results it is recommended to have your dental revision work completed within 30 - 45 days. In order that we do not interfere with your immune system cycles (of 7,14 & 21 days ) we will not schedule an appointment on the same week day within a 30 day period. If you have had any illness, cold or trauma in the previous 30 days please advise us as this can also affect your immune cycles. Also we like at least 48 hours between appointments. Where possible we place a rubber dam sheet over your teeth during amalgam removal. We also have medical oxygen for you to breathe whilst the mercury fillings are being removed. In addition to air conditioning we also run a charcoal air filter to clean the surgery. We do not move out of a mouth quadrant until it is completed, nor do we cross from one side of the mouth to the other in the same day. We endeavour to remove all scraps of amalgam from each tooth as well as old lining materials which often hide fragments of fillings from previous restorations. The maximum appointment time is 2 hours regardless of how far you have to travel. We will use the materials recommended for you to the best of our ability.

Supplements:
you will have been advised of vitamin therapy. Here are some of our recommendations:

Do not take vitamin C orally 36 hours prior to dental treatment as it can inhibit the action of local anaesthetic.

On the day of treatment drink plenty of water ( purified if available).

Rinse the mouth after treatment with warm water and a few drops of propilis. After treatment the least you need to take is 1000mg of vitamin C a day preferably with some other type of anti-oxidant such as ACE with selenium. This helps to chelate or mop up free mercury as well as boosting your immune system.

Kyolic garlic capsules have also been useful for our patients, Garlicin is a more pure form. The sulphur compounds in garlic combine with mercury to form an insoluble salt which is excreted in the urine. MSM is a useful alternative to d.m.s.a. Taking potassium citrate is thought to help the kidneys which work hard during excretion of mercury compounds.

Homeopathic:
The following may help: Arnica 30c + 2-3 days prior to treatment. Hypericum 30c is useful for soothing the nerves. There are many others available, which your health care professional can advise you of. At Holistic dental centre we have available our own dental prep remedy at a cost of $3.00

Chelation:
Chelation is highly recommended as it clears mercury from the body tissues, which would otherwise stay there - even after the mercury has been removed from the teeth. Alternatives include: I.V. vitamin C Oral chelation such as DMSA, MSM, Chorella. We currently recommend that our patients see a medical expert such as Dr Mark Austin or Dr Tessa Jones for chelation. Mr Donald Woodman who shares rooms at the Holistic Dental Centre is very knowledgeable in nutritional chelation and support during the detoxification period.

After dental treatment: REST.

If you are having other types of therapy only have one on the day of treatment. Some people feel quite wiped out after amalgam removal, go with what your body tells you and rest. It is important that you have support from those close to you so they can assist you in your recuperation. Massage the day after treatment is thought to be helpful. An osteopathic treatment is highly recommended after dental treatment and again Don Woodman is available for this.

Root canals and extractions:
If you have a tooth that dies the standard current treatment is to either clean and fill the inside of the tooth or to remove it. From my understanding of both processes I offer the following points to consider:

  1. Dentistry is the only profession that says it is OK to have dead tissue in your body.
  2. Whilst I have the most up to date and modern machine to clean the root canals of teeth I can only clean and fill the vertical canals inside the tooth and not the hundreds of horizontal ones. Currently those root canals that work do so by virtue of reducing the bacterial levels within the tooth. However anaerobic bacteria can still live and mutate in these canals causing problems in about 10% of people. I am using a product called Biocalix that is thought to migrate into these microscopic canals reacting with water in them to form Calcium Hydroxide. Calcium Hydroxide is bactericidal and is also a basic component of bone and tooth tissue.
  3. When a tooth is removed by a general dentist often the infected bone and the tooth ligament is left behind. This can cause pain and possible health problems at a later date. To help avoid this, at the time of tooth removal I clean the tooth socket and irrigate it with sterile saline; this procedure takes a couple of minutes. Prior to tooth removal it is advisable to have prophylactic antibiotics or homeopathic.

What to expect after dental treatment:
Often the teeth are sensitive to bite on and to temperature changes. This should subside with time, however it is best to let us know as your bite may need adjusting and teeth desensitising. Sometimes dental treatment can stir up the nerve of the tooth causing it to die, the symptoms of this are throbbing pain which can be spontaneous or be triggered by heat. If this happens then the alternatives are root canal therapy or tooth removal. This is more likely with teeth that have in the past had deep or very large fillings in them. Generally most people's teeth settle within 3-6 months. It is important to keep your teeth well flossed and cleaned and to try to eliminate white sugar from your diet as this causes tooth decay.

Post dental revision dietary recommendations:

  • Eat a well balanced diet following the food pyramid principle.
  • Avoid processed foods such as salami sausage rolls etc.
  • Avoid white sugar.
  • Use coffee sparingly.
  • In the first six months avoid seafood especially shell fish crayfish crabs and shark meat as they all contain high amounts of mercury.
  • Avoid pork, bacon and ham as they all have high amounts of mercury.
  • As mercury will be coming out of your tissues after it has been removed from your teeth, it is best to carry on taking vitamin C and anti-oxidants for 3 months after treatment.

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