At VCCID we recognize that the health of your teeth is integral to your overall health and well being. We promote holistic dental practices which consider the whole person, using biocompatible materials and good dental practices to minimize recovery time and ensure your comfort. We also maintain a mercury-free practice and are trained in the removal of mercury fillings.
We believe education is a critical component to holistic dental care. By educating our patients about their options and explaining procedures, we strive to help our patients become more informed about their teeth and gums. This empowers individuals to take preventative measures and reduce the need for costly dental procedures.
Why We’re Mercury Free
Though the safety of mercury fillings is still under debate in some circles, at VCCID we’ve made a decision to use alternative filling methods to ensure your overall health. However, each person has the right to decide what is placed into his or her mouth and each person needs to be informed to make a proper decision. Please read on.
Mercury fillings, also known as silver or amalgam fillings, have been used as the main tooth filling material since the turn of the last century. Although the material has worked “well” for many people and for many years, several health issues have arisen over their safety. This is because the fillings contain approximately 50% mercury. Mercury is known to be very toxic and will cause health problems with excessive or long term exposure. Mercury is also known to accumulate in the tissues and organs (kidneys, brain, lungs, liver and gastrointestinal tract) over long periods of time.
Mercury from fillings is released during placement, removal and during normal eating function. How much is released and absorbed, and is it significant is still in question.
When we remove existing mercury fillings, we follow IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology) guidelines to ensure they are removed in the safest way with the least possible exposure to mercury.
The latest position of the Canadian and American Dental Associations is mercury fillings are safe for most people, provided that they do not have more than four in their mouth. This does not take into account the size, location or age of the fillings and long term exposure. It also appears contradictory to their recommendation to not place mercury fillings in children, pregnant or lactating women. It also does not explain why we can safely place mercury fillings in the mouth, but outside of the mouth it must be handled with the same precautions as hazardous waste! We cannot simply dispose of the excess material in the garbage!
For any who may be interested, we do have copies of the Canadian Dental Associations position on mercury fillings as well as copies of a book titled “Your toxic teeth” by Dr. Murray Vimy D.M.D.
Alternative Choices for Filling Materials
We currently use composite (white) fillings, porcelain ceramic fillings and gold fillings to repair and restore teeth. These latter materials often last longer than mercury, can bond well to tooth structures and can be matched to the colour of your teeth. These materials are initially more expensive than mercury fillings, however in the long term they have been proven cost effective, and today many dental plans cover non-mercury filling materials. For more information about fillings and dental plan coverage, click here.
Call us to learn more about our holistic dental practices, your filling options and how we work to maintain your health and safety. We’d be happy to provide you with reading materials and answer any questions you may have.