Holistic dentists in Sonoma County CA explain what amalgam tooth fillings are, why they don’t place them
We are Whole Health Dentistry in more than name only; as a truly holistic and environmentally-friendly practice, Drs. Silvano Senn and Toni Mann only place metal-free, composite resin fillings. While amalgam tooth fillings in Sonoma County can still be found at other dentist’s offices, Whole Health Dentistry of Sebastopol CA chooses to avoid this mix of metals that contains more mercury than anything else. A known toxin, liquid or elemental mercury accounts for 43% to 54% of the filling. Also known as “silver” fillings, the rest of the amalgam is made up of a mix of silver, tin, and copper. Silver refers to the filling’s color, and when was the last time you saw a naturally silver tooth? A mix of tissue-friendly pliable dental plastic and glass compounds, white-colored composite resin fillings are both safe and look no different than a healthy, natural tooth.
When you may need a filling …
Cavities refer to spaces within solid objects. Dentists frequently fill cavities or holes in teeth. Dental cavities form when sugars and starches in foods and beverages aren’t removed from teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feed off of these substances and promote sticky plaque. The acids in plaque work through teeth, from the outside in, starting with the protective enamel covering and then the soft dentin underneath. Cavities can be silent or produce no symptoms early on, but as decay progresses, teeth may be more sensitive and ache without warning or when biting down on food or eating sweet, hot, or cold foods. Other tell-tale signs of cavities include noticeable pits or holes, and black, brown, and white discoloration.
As a holistic practice, Whole Health Dentistry partners with patients to prevent the need for fillings. Routine exams bring to light early-stage decay that would otherwise not be detected by the patient. During check-ups, your dentist and hygienist discuss ways to brush or floss better, and products that can help you more effectively clean your teeth and gums. Preventive services such as dental sealants also help to keep teeth decay-free by protecting the surfaces of back teeth that tend to collect food and bacteria.
Should you need restorative treatment, Drs. Senn or Mann recommend the most conservative option that will resolve the condition; for instance, improved hygiene techniques can help to rebuild or remineralize tooth structure. Generally, the more natural tooth structure that is preserved, the better. If fillings are necessary to quite literally “fill in” and repair the cavity, materials matter. All mercury-laden fillings leak this toxic element. The amount of mercury leaked increases with stimulation from behaviors such as chewing gum, teeth-grinding, drilling a tooth, or drinking very hot beverages. As a result, silver-colored amalgam fillings produce the majority of mercury exposure in people.
The International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), of which Drs. Senn and Mann are members, has posted a video featuring the vapor that comes off of mercury in amalgam fillings. Visible vapor represents mercury that is more than 1,000 times higher than the amount allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency for the air we breathe. The IAOMT has listed hundreds of symptoms associated with chronic mercury exposure through amalgam fillings, from cognitive and neurological decline to gastrointestinal and kidney problems. There is no such thing as a safe mercury-laden filling.
Furthermore, a third of the tooth’s structure may need to be removed to repair a pinhead-sized cavity with amalgam. Due to the nature of biocompatible composite resin fillings, the cavity can be repaired while conserving a maximum amount of natural and healthy tooth structure. This approach creates a stronger tooth and prevents future breakage and the need for more costly and extensive restorations such as crowns, root canal therapy and, finally, extraction and tooth replacement. Your tooth’s natural foundation or core is retained.
Ready to replace “silver” fillings?
You are in good hands at Whole Health Dentistry. Our dentists and staff adhere to the IAOMT’s Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique. SMART combines equipment, products, and techniques that minimize the amount of mercury released into the environment. A glimpse into how we keep our people, patients, and planet safe:
- Amalgam separators collect waste that contains mercury, and that would otherwise end up as a pollutant in wastewater.
- Adequate air filtration and protective gowns, face shields, and non-latex gloves assure particles and vapors released during the filling procedure don’t spread to the patient, dentist, and dental assistants.
- Removing amalgam in chunks rather than tiny pieces with a small diameter drill minimizes harmful effects because it’s generally easier to inhale or ingest smaller particles and vapors than large ones.
For an authentic holistic and biological dental practice, experience Whole Health Dentistry. Call 707 549-6333 to schedule an appointment at the Sebastopol CA office.