Mercury dental fillings have been used in dentistry for a long time, but recent studies have revealed its dangerous effects on human health and the environment. In fact, in Scarborough, New Yorkshire, mercury-poisoning scares have spurred the local government into action. The Scarborough Council has proposed a £640,000 building project to install filtration equipment, which meets government and EU standards. These are to be installed in various crematoriums in the area, beginning with Woodlands Crematorium.
Meanwhile, approximately 3,500 miles away, your trusted Philadelphia dentist is likewise taking steps to ensure that he only uses biocompatible fillings to repair and restore the teeth of his patients. In the dental industry, it seems that everybody is on edge when it comes to using amalgam, an alloy of mercury and other metals used as dental filling. Why the wariness about continuing to use amalgam in dental fillings?
Mercury fillings have been linked to insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, bleeding gums, neurological impairment, and even poor memory. Scientists have discovered that mercury vapor continuously leaches from amalgam fillings, and the vapor can then be absorbed via the bloodstream or inhaled through the lungs. Crematoriums are worried about cremating the bodies of deceased individuals with amalgam fillings, as cremation can send the vaporized mercury up the chimney and into the atmosphere, turning it into an environmental pollutant.
The Scarborough News reports that during the cremation processes, mercury particles could eventually end up in bodies of water where fish could ingest them. In turn, when humans consume the tainted fish, mercury poisoning could occur. Mercury that accumulates in the kidney impairs its function, such that it will be unable to properly detoxify the body. Mercury absorption can also prove particularly disastrous for both pregnant women and children.
The good news is, biocompatible dental materials that can be used in place of mercury fillings are available. For instance, a leading dentist in Philadelphia, Dr. Gerald Regni, DMD, who practices natural dentistry, offers services that utilize equipment and materials that do not threaten overall health. Natural dentists, by definition, aim to provide excellent dental services while implementing a holistic approach. Their focus is on providing non-surgical or alternative treatment methods, and avoiding the use of potentially toxic materials.
While small amounts of mercury aren't an immediate threat, accumulating larger quantities within your body could be extremely dangerous. Fortunately, the latest innovations in the field of dentistry--the use of biocompatible materials and alternative treatments--are providing dental patients with healthier and safer options.