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Anyone get rid of all your mercury fillings?
Old 11-22-2016, 03:15 PM   #1
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Anyone get rid of all your mercury fillings?

A while back, I met a guy who was going through and having all of his amalgam fillings replaced. I think he was spooked by the mercury. At the time, I was of the mind that if you just left them alone, they wouldn't leach out and do anything bad to you. Besides the mercury, though, the old amalgam fillings apparently can harbor bacteria around and under them more than the composite fillings. And the composite actually bonds to the tooth, so wouldn't have that seepage problem and also it would hold together a tooth that was prone to spreading out and developing a crack. So I'm convinced that composite is better, based on that logic, but not sure it's worth the cost and trouble of replacement. So I figured I'd tap the wisdom here. Anyone have any experience with this topic?
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:22 PM   #2
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If it's not broke, leave it alone
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Old 11-22-2016, 03:51 PM   #3
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My dentist said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Okay by me.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:10 PM   #4
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My dentist said the same thing, years ago when I asked him. Therefore I did nothing.

Most of them are probably gone by now anyway. It's been a long time since they went out of favor.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:15 PM   #5
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My old dentist wanted to replace them all, over time. Some of them would need crowns. I did a few, but started to think it really wasn't needed. A retired dentist friend of mine took a look and didn't think it was necessary. I got tired of being pressured to get it done so I switched dentists. My new dentist doesn't think it's needed either. If any start causing problems, I won't hesitate, but to get work done while things feel good seems to just invite problems. Best part is, I don't dread going to the dentist anymore and getting pushed hard to have this work done. After talking to a couple others in the community, they felt the same way and some have already switched.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:15 PM   #6
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DW had all of hers replaced 20 years ago
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:17 PM   #7
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I'm just now having mine replaced. They developed small cracks and as someone mentioned I didn't want problems later on with stuff getting underneath the filling
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:22 PM   #8
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I'm a heavy grinder, despite wearing an appliance at night I still frequently replace fillings(crowns take a little longer). Probably 12 years ago our dentist suggested composite for new work, now there's no amalgam left in my mouth. DW has had zero cavities so not an issue for her.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
DW had all of hers replaced 20 years ago
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Originally Posted by MRG View Post
....Probably 12 years ago our dentist suggested composite for new work, now there's no amalgam left in my mouth.
So are the composites holding-up well? Obviously if they didn't, that would be a strike against doing anything and letting sleeping dogs lie.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:57 PM   #10
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I did, over the course of 20-25 years. Not out of any particular fear of Mercury, but simply a result of the old amalgam fillings having a finite lifetime. The heavily filled teeth from my misspent youth all eventually deteriorated enough to require crowns while the fillings in the more mildly decayed teeth eventually broke down and were replaced by modern composite material.

I did ask my dentist about the effects of mercury during this time (going mad as a hatter and all that) and was told not to worry about it. My take is that he was probably right so long as the fillings remained intact. As they started to break down, though, I'm sure I must have ingested some mercury here and there. Come to think of it, perhaps that mad as a hatter stuff might explain some of my investment behavior over the years...
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:28 PM   #11
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So are the composites holding-up well? Obviously if they didn't, that would be a strike against doing anything and letting sleeping dogs lie.
They are(I think) but with my grinding it's hard to measure. Certainly no worse, perhaps better. The other variable is different appliances and PERHAPS I grind less after the last 3.5 years of no it10ts calling me all night long.
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:34 PM   #12
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Never have had one replaced.

And not only that, I just had one installed. That's right, a silver-mercury amalgam filling installed less than a year ago.

No fear of mercury have I says me.
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:41 PM   #13
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I'm going to die of something, it might as well be my cavity filling that I had for 40-50 years.
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:52 PM   #14
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Had all of mine replaced about 10 years ago. I have to admit, I did it mostly for cosmetic reasons. I was always emberrassed when I was younger of having so many fillings. So far I have had no problems and am happy I had it done.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:45 PM   #15
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Over the course of the last 20 years or so, I've had all the silver/mercury fillings replaced with the modern composites as and when the old ones deteriorated.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:10 PM   #16
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A friend from high school is a dentist that lives out of town, that I've kept in touch with over the years. I had been fast-talked by a former dentist to replace 1 or 2 silver amalgam fillings (who also had various sales pitches for various other services, products, and upgrades). He gave me the fear pitch of mercury, sickness/disease, yada yada yada. I assumed I could trust him...but my friend from high school that I talked to (unfortunately, a year or two after I had the replacements done) said that it was all a load of bull. Unless you have issues with it leaking or coming out, leave it alone. IN fact, disturbing it can cause far more issues than leaving a good filling intact.

Is this dentist also (by sheer coincidence) trying to get you to do various other services and buying various other products that they do a hard sell with?
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:29 PM   #17
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My dentist, who is a past President of the California Dental Society, told me it was BS. It was just a way for some dentists to get more business, preying on the fears of others
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:30 PM   #18
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My experience is a little different. Had sinus and allergy problems for
years. Had to get serious about fixing problem. Doctors said my immune
system was weak do the mercury poisoning. Had a mouth full of fillings.
Had them all removed 20 years ago. Only had 1 or 2 sinus/allergy issues since.
Was very expensive but worth every penny.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:51 PM   #19
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Any dentist who tries to convince you that your mercury fillings are a risk had better be wearing a very good cartridge respirator (not a cloth mask) when he grinds them out. Should be a sealed room too, to protect other patients and staff. If they are bad sitting undisturbed in your mouth, they are a thousand times worse ground up. and he is doing this all day every work day. His personal potential exposure is huge.

I strongly suspect that dentists that recommend wholesale replacement are motivated to keep up with payments on their student loans, practice loans, luxury car(s), McMansion, vacation home, yacht, etc.
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Old 11-22-2016, 09:17 PM   #20
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The ADA says they are safe, and there would be a LOT of new work (and money) for their members if they were to find otherwise. Likewise, the FDA says they are safe (see link above).

A very balanced article on the subject, science-based, with good background material.
Some interesting info:
Quote:
In the US, the FDA has established an acceptable daily intake for mercury of 0.4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. Research shows that this amount of mercury, consumed for extended periods up to a lifetime, presents a negligible risk of adverse health outcomes in even the most sensitive human populations (pregnant women, developing fetuses, young children, or those with kidney disease, for example). The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a standard of 1.6 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per week, cumulatively less than the FDA figure.
. . . .
Much dental research has been done over the past twenty years in the area of dental amalgam and its effects upon human health. The medical scientific community is now in general agreement that patients with dental amalgam fillings are chronically exposed to mercury (a slight amount of mercury vapor is released from a filling during chewing, tooth grinding, etc.) and that the average daily absorption of mercury from dental amalgam is from 3 to 17 micrograms per day, which correlates to roughly 7-50% of the FDA’s acceptable daily intake (depending on body weight and other variables such as toothbrushing, number and size of fillings, clenching and grinding habits, gum chewing, etc.). To date, studies have shown no correlation between dental amalgam and birth defects or adverse health issues in patients with dental amalgam or in dental health care workers who are exposed to it on a daily basis.
Does the ADA think that there is room for a subjective difference of opinion among dentists regarding the removal of amalgam fillings? Well, they are pretty clear about this:
Quote:
The American Dental Association’s Principle of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct explicitly states: “removal of amalgam restorations from the non-allergic patient for the alleged purpose of removing toxic substances from the body, when such treatment is performed solely at the recommendation of the dentist, is improper and unethical.”
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