This October, we saw an exciting victory for the Consumers for Dental Choice campaign against the use of dangerous and potentially toxic dental amalgam (silver fillings). Now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a new rule that will require all dental offices to use amalgam separators when performing procedures involving mercury-rich dental amalgam. In addition to acknowledging the inherent danger of dental amalgam, the EPA’s proposal also aims to reduce mercury pollution by requiring dental offices to more carefully capture, contain, and dispose of the hazardous metallic debris.
Worldwide, it’s estimated that more than 180 million people have teeth the have been repaired with some sort of dental restorative material. In total, that’s a staggering 1.4 billion teeth. From the 1950s through present day, one of the most common dental restoratives has always been dental amalgam. Often called “silver fillings,” this metallic mixture is prepared with up to 50% or more liquid mercury. Poisoning from these “mercury fillings” is a risk that holistic dental professionals are quick to warn patients about, even though agencies like the American Dental Association refuse to formally acknowledge any potential health problems associated with their use. At Assure A Smile, we take a holistic approach to dentistry that focuses on both oral health and total body wellness. We believe patients should be educated about mercury poisoning, dental amalgam, and the long-term health risks associated with silver fillings.
Dental amalgam made headlines in early March when the Dr. Oz Show performed a demonstration that very clearly illustrated the toxic nature of the outdated silver fillings. Broadcasted on national television, the demonstration showed that silver fillings could leak odorless, extremely toxic mercury vapor when brushed by a normal toothbrush. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) and holistic dentistry professionals are celebrating a new victory in the fight against toxic fillings, however. This year, more than 140 nations have signed into effect an international mercury treaty that lays the groundwork for an eventual “phasing out” of this dangerous material.