I have quite a few silver fillings that I want to switch out for the newer white ones. However, my dentist said it isn’t a good idea to replace these. My sister goes to a holistic dentist and one of the first things they did is replace her silver fillings, which he called toxic. Should I switch to a holistic dentist for this?
This is an important question so I am glad you wrote. The first thing you should know is that holistic dentistry is more of a philosophy of treatment than it is a specialization. What I mean by that is you could not look up in your dental insurance book for holistic dentists and find them. However, there are probably many dentists on that list who hold to a holistic dentistry philosophy. In most cases, that means that they care about your whole body and not just your teeth. As a result of that, they will work hard to ensure nothing they treat you with will have a negative impact anywhere else in your body. For example, holistic type dentists will be much more willing to work around any material sensitivities you have.
Should You Replace Your Silver Fillings?
Dentists call silver fillings amalgam fillings. This is because they are an amalgam (ie. mixture) of several materials. The largest ingredient is mercury, a known toxin. Bear in mind that the American Dental Association still maintains these fillings are completely safe and they have been used for generations now. That being said, you can understand why so many patients are uncomfortable with the idea of mercury in their bodies.
If your fillings are old and showing signs of wear, you will definitely want to replace them. Other than that, it is up to you. However, be careful who you have do this. The two places that you have the most exposure to the mercury in these fillings are in their placement or removal. Because of that, you will want to make sure you go to a dentist who understands and has the equipment for a sanitary amalgam removal procedure.
In this case, your best options are probably someone who advertises as a holistic dentist, a metal-free dentist, or a mercury-free dentist. All three of these should be familiar with the steps necessary to keep you safe during the switch.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.