Mercury amalgam removal

Updated Oct 10, 2003
A photo: Having fun before my second procedure

Why I chose to have my amalgams removed

  • Mercury did terrible damage to my girlfriend's health; removal of her remaining amalgams improved her health and emotions in remarkable ways

    In 1982, she had amalgams removed for cosmetic reasons by a dentist who showed no special care in amalgam removal. (Hey, the industry asserts that there is "no danger" in amalgams, so "why should he have done any different?") Drilling releases mercury from the amalgam in vapor form (noted as the most dangerous form); also, particles of amalgam no doubt fell into her mouth and were eventually swallowed. 10 days later, she buckled over from severe heart pain, only the beginning of many severe health struggles, including nocturnal seizures, arrhythmia and multiple chemical sensitivity. It wasn't until 20 years later that she made the connection between the improper amalgam removal and her "countless" visits to doctors and hospitals for serious health problems.

    In 1996, she had a couple amalgam fillings added "out of sight in the back." A couple weeks later, she felt terrible anger. She attributed it to a new medication and stopped the medication, but the elevated anger remained.

    In 2002 and 2003, she had all traces of amalgam removed with great care and protection. Since then, some significant health problems of hers have greatly reduced. To her great surprise, she felt less angry, and feelings of self-condemnation lifted. Her thinking became much clearer. And most importantly, her nocturnal gran mal seizures are almost gone. (She used to have an average of ten per year; in the year following the mercury removal, she has had only one. She is still working on the detoxification of her whole body from residual mercury, which is most attracted to the central nervous system, heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, etc.

  • My girlfriend laid on the pressure

    No wonder she wanted me to be well. She had benefited so much. Around the time of her final amalgam removal, she rented a mercury vapor analyzer. In her mouth, she got readings of 15-20 parts per billion (ppb). In mine, she got 50-150 ppb! I'm a teeth grinder, and that (and even basic brushing of teeth and chewing) are known to increase the amount of mercury vapor emanating from an amalgam (and thus more readily absorbed into my system, to my harm).

    I had eight amalgam fillings. She had just three tiny ones. She pleaded occasionally for me to get my amalgams out. It makes sense, from her own experience, that she would have high hopes for how removal of my amalgams might help my emotions, energy and thinking.

    An illness of mine in 9/2003 motivated her to ratchet up the pressure to get the work done for the sake of my immune system (and whatever other benefits I might observe).

    She also wanted my work done for her health, considering what our future might be. Her body can't tolerate mercury, and if I still have mercury in my mouth, simply exhaling can send mercury vapor her way and be of harm to her.

  • I wanted to remove the burden on my immune system

    I made a list of Pros and Cons of getting the work done. Cost, risk of losing teeth and ability to chew for months, and pain were my greatest concerns. Big concerns.

    But I also knew that I had a poison in my mouth. My teeth were giving off mercury vapor. Mercury doesn't belong in my body. If I took action now, I would remove that question of the impact of mercury on my mouth, giving my body a better chance of dealing with the current and future illness than if I left the mercury there. I would also remove that barrier to my future with my girlfriend (is that being "willing to give my eye teeth for her"?). And perhaps there was decay under my amalgams that would go undetected (and result in future, more costly dental work) if I did not have the amalgams removed now.

  • There are so many success stories

    It is great to read so many stories out there of people finding freedom from a wide range of ailments, all because they had their amalgams removed. I've read personal accounts of finding freedom from some or many symptoms of MS, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, depression, migraines, etc. It is because so many people have shared their success stories that more attention is being given to this topic and hope offered to those who suffer. Is it a cure-all? Certainly not for everyone, and perhaps not even for me. But enough people have clearly benefited that it is worth my scrutiny for my own health decisions.

    I am expecting nothing more from this procedure than the reduction of burden on my immune system. Sure, it would be great to feel less irritable or anxious, have more energy, feel like my thinking is clearer. But I won't get my hopes up. I've made this move for my general health and for my girlfriend.

Not just any dentist, not just any protocol

If you have any thoughts of doing this for yourself or recommending it for someone else, please, oh please do your homework. This includes three major points:

  • The dentist should be in the camp that believes that mercury in amalgams is harmful.

    The majority of dentists, unfortunately, lean toward the belief or practice that mercury can never escape from the filling and that therefore amalgams are not harmful and need no special handling upon removal. Hey, I've got the mercury vapor analyzer results from my own fillings!

    My regular dentist expressed willingness to replace my amalgams with composites (hey, who would pass on an opportunity to make some money), but I concluded it was worth paying more for a dentist who had studied these issues and would go those extra steps to protect me from mercury during the procedure.

  • A patient-protecting protocol should be followed that reflects the fact that mercury is harmful to the body.

    I had a "rubber dam" in my mouth (a latex drape that covers the entire mouth and funnels down to the particular teeth being worked on, so that particles do not fall into the mouth and are more readily retrieved by an assistant with suction tube in hand), an oxygen mask on my nose, a towel over my eyes, a gown over my clothing, a HEPA filter in the room, an ionizer... With some searching on the net, you should be able to find such protocol lists. Do not just "have the amalgams drilled out" with no additional protection! (My girlfriend says that mercury vapor can still travel right through the latex dam. The most careful protocols require a second suction tube under the rubber dam, to remove the mercury vapor, instead of allowing it to be absorbed through mouth tissue. Our dentist was not able to provide this.)

    I opted to have discoloration ground out of my teeth, discoloration due to amalgams. My thinking: the stain is from the amalgam, the amalgam is leaking mercury, therefore the stain includes mercury, so get rid of the stain while you're in there tearing up my tooth. That was further than my dentist wanted to go (wanting to limit his actions to be conservative and minimally invasive). I understand that other mercury-free dentists would insist on removing the stain. My girlfriend pursued me on this item as well, so I asked my dentist to do that extra work, so there's no question. Lose some teeth in the future as a result? I might. Avoid having to consider more dental work for complete cleanup in the future when new health problems arise? Yes.

  • You should find out which materials are safer for your teeth. Etchants, cements, composites...all sorts of materials are used when redoing your teeth!

    There is a Clifford Reactivity Test that reports widely used dental materials and whether each is Safe (S) or Not Safe (NS) for you specifically.

    My results came in handy on the second dental appointment; they had run out of a particular etchant and were able to check that an alternate was S for me. Nickel is used in many dental products, and I can't do nickel, among other ingredients. Further, I opted not to have gold crowns nor to have porcelain on a gold base. I chose the most brittle of the three options, pure porcelain, because there were enough folks who touted problems with gold crowns, such as introducing electrical charge into one's teeth (charge which someone noted as being 1000 times greater than the electricity that your brain runs on) and body reaction to metals (gold crowns aren't pure gold--they have other metals mixed in, and you might react to such metals).

    I've seen some stories of people who experienced significant pains from the new materials in their mouths--I wonder if they were aware of or pursued any such tests for compatibility.

    Have I taken extreme measures in removing the amalgams? Maybe I'd be just fine with gold crowns. Look how many people are! But at least I've eliminated a possible contributor.