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Toward Mercury-Free Dentistry: A Manual

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The World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry and Mercury Policy Project released this month a manual/guide to successfully implement a phase-down of dental amalgam fillings. Click here to view and download the material, for further info, please consult the reference materials outlined in the manual.

What's Up In The Air?

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IAOMT-Philippines and BAN Toxics! report on mercury vapor levels in dental institutions is now available. Click here to download a copy of the report.

Dental Amalgam Fillings Cause Damage

A favourite argument that pro-amalgam supporters make is that dental amalgam fillings are not only affordable but it is also durable. They maintain that unlike other filling materials, dental amalgam fillings can last for years and even decades requiring little upkeep.

A closer look into dental amalgam fillings reveal otherwise.

How dental amalgam fillings damage teeth

It is clear that dental amalgam fillings – with its grey/black tint – are unsightly. But most importantly, dental amalgam fillings are far more ghastly. Here are the reasons why:

First, dentists need to remove large chunks of healthy tooth to place the filling.  For a secure fitting, dentists need to carve the tooth. The problem with dental amalgam fillings is that for it to be firmly anchored, a large chunk of the tooth needs be drilled. This process inevitably compromises tooth and bone structure.

Second, dental amalgam fillings expand. As a metal-based filling, (in case you have to be reminded, dental amalgam fillings are 50 percent mercury) dental amalgam fillings expand not only with temperature changes but also with time. This process of expansion and contraction can lead to increased tooth sensitivity and tiny fractures.

Third, it leads to more expensive and invasive treatments. Gaps and the tiny fractures caused by drilling and amalgam expansion are the ideal places for bacteria. Left unchecked and untreated, these may lead to secondary caries or “recurrent decay”. Dentists would have to replace the filling and drill further to combat the infection. Many dental amalgam removal procedures reveal severely damaged tooth requiring more complex treatments and procedures to repair.  

 

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Go mercury-free

Yet, despite these disadvantages, many dental professionals still support dental amalgam use.  It is contradictory to the oath taken by health practitioners – “First, do no harm.”
 
Currently, the call for less toxic and minimally invasive procedures in medicine and dentistry are gaining ground. This second week of September, as we celebrate and mark Mercury-free Dentistry Awareness Week, let us acknowledge advocates of mercury-free dentistry around the world. With their passion and dedication for the health of communities and the environment, we are seeing a paradigm shift and the Minamata Convention on Mercury is only the beginning.

http://www.toxicteeth.org/pressRoom_recentNews/August-2011/The-silver-fillings-deception.aspx

http://www.healingteethnaturally.com/drilling-filling-risks-damages-dangers.html

http://www.braddurhamdmd.com/blog/2014/02/3-ways-metal-amalgam-fillings-increase-tooth-sensitivity.html

Bantay Ngipin

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Together with Gota De Leche, IAOMT-Philippines is conducting a three-part dental outreach programme to Gota De Leche beneficiaries. Apart from delivering free and mercury-free dental services, IAOMT-Philippines, headed by Dr Lillian Ebuen is providing lectures and teaching children and their guardians the importance of maintaining good oral health.

The photos above is from the second part of this project. Dr Ebuen stresses, “Gota de Leche is a highly respected charitable institution and their dedication to providing assistance to those who need it are in line with our organization’s values. Working with them on this venture is an opportunity for us to reach out to children and women - sectors that are most vulnerable to toxins such as mercury.”

For more photos and info on dental amalgam use, check our facebook page: IAOMT-Philippines.

Photos courtesy of Iñigo de Paula/Gota De Leche.

Dental Mercury: An Infographic

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Click here to view the infographic in high resolution.

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