Overview: The following is intended to provide you with the basics of some aspects of the research and procedures that should precede any decision to replace these fillings.

The procedural aspects of this overview are not intended, and should not be viewed, as an absolutely definitive guideline for this procedure. They are merely intended to provide some insight into the potential treatment modalities used to perform this service which may help decision making when seeking advice.

However, as the saying goes ‘there are many ways to skin a cat’ and this also applies to the techniques used by individual dentists.

Exposure to Mercury

Clinical research has shown that inorganic mercury is not locked into amalgam restorations and undergoes, on a daily basis, a slow vapour release which becomes locked into the organic tissues of the body where it can interfere with natural function.

Removal / Replacement of these amalgams releases very high acute doses.

The web site below will present you with some pretty irrefutable evidence of this which would indicate that these tooth restorations are not safe – just tolerated [i.e. without any apparent symptoms] by some individuals better than others.

Intake / Body Burden

This same web site will also present you with the evidence which, despite other claims to the contrary, definitively indicates that the mercury vapour release not only interferes with the functioning of the gut bacteria but also becomes lodged in, and interferes with, the natural & healthy functioning of the brain cells & body organs/ tissues.

Personal Assessment & Treatment

This can fall into some or all of the following Categories:

1.                  Clinical Diagnosis /Assessment

a.                  Mercury Sensitivity : Laboratory Test which indicates individual sensitivity.

b.                  Urine Challenge Test : Simple Laboratory home kit test to assess your body burden

c.                  Replacement Materials: Laboratory Test for their individual sensitivity.

Diagnostic & Testing  Web Sites                              

Clinical Assessment

Prior to any treatment, I will want to provide you with a full check up, x-rays and assessment regarding both the clinical state of your mouth generally and your amalgam restorations in particular and assess the health issues which has instigated this request for help.

With suspect mercury toxicity, the emphasis will be on the materials / techniques required for amalgam replacement – within the context of the above overview.

The following are some of the tests that may used in this assessment:

1.     Primary Symptomatic Mercury Sensitivity Assessment

2.     Replacement Materials:  assess the suitability as a Clinical Material [i.e. that it will satisfy the  clinical restoration requirements of seal, durability, function, tooth cusp protection etc.]

3.      Electrical Activity : all metallic restorations tend to produce an electrical charge which can help guide the optimal restoration replacement order. This electric charge [from amalgams and other metallic restorations] may also be the main source of systemic dysfunction of the body / brain’s natural electrical impulses.

4.     Full Regular Dental Assessment / necessary x-rays etc. with special emphasis on the clinical issues involved in this replacement.

5.      Informed Consent: given the very diffuse nature of mercury vapour and the multitudinous variations in human genetic, hereditary and life style factors and current physical health can all be  pre disposing factors affecting tolerance levels. Consequently, the effect [or apparent non effect] of this toxin will vary enormously – as will the speed and percentage improvement that may be experienced after the mercury filling replacement and the concurrent  detoxification / cleanse up of mercury lodged within the cellular system.

6.     Chelation : having had the clinical source of mercury [your fillings] removed, this is the term given to the detoxification / elimination procedure used to try and help cleanse any mercury that has become lodged in the cellular tissues.

At the completion of this assessment, a Treatment Plan & Estimate will, normally, be designed for your approval. It may also may be the optimum time to answer any of your queries regarding the proposals.

Removal / Replacement Procedure

The basic objective of the Removal Section is to ensure that the acute mercury vapourisation that this removal initiates is prevented from ingestion / inhalation into the system.

This is accomplished by some / all of the following procedural protocols:

Patient Protection

1.                  Rubber Damn [throat isolation] : a square of latex with holes punched to correspond to the teeth / restorations being isolated ]. A charcoal tablet [which will neutralise mercury vapour] is placed under the tongue as secondary protection.

2.                  Oxygen Nosepiece

3.                  Eye patches

4.                  Face Cover

Vaporisation Control:

1.                  High Speed Drill with copious flow of cold water [heat increases vaporisation]

2.                  Drills that section [as opposed to grind] out the amalgam

3.                  Negative Ion Generators [neutralises the air around the operating area]

4.                  Vapour filtration machine [‘sucks’ vapour from the immediate operating area]

Replacement Materials

All replacement materials require certain criteria for clinical success with the most common ones being composites, porcelain and gold.

Basically, the choice of material is dependent on the size of cavity being restored together with the chewing forces being placed on it. For instance, a small cavity which is well protected from excess chewing forces can, normally, be made in composite. As the cavity size / chewing forces increase, one may need to consider porcelain, gold or a combination of both.


This is the term used to describe the detoxification process used to try and remove the mercury atoms which tend to become lodged in the cells of all the body’s organs and tissues and can interfere with the normal metabolism [ biochemical functioning] of these tissues and organs.

It can also interfere with the gut and blood metabolism.

As it tends to become dispersed throughout the body and can affect different individuals in different ways, the optimum naturopathic supplements used to help the body reduce its ‘mercury burden, also tend to vary with increased attention being paid to the organs / tissues which seem to be most affected.

Referral to a nutritionalist with special knowledge in this area would be one of the routes to follow for this second stage of the ‘mercury cleansing’ process.

The following is the transcript of an overview from research at the Faculty of Medicine in Calgary, Canada.

Department of Medical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

For more than 160 years dentistry has used silver amalgam, which contains approximately 50% mercury [Hg] as the preferred tooth filling material.

During the past decade medical research has demonstrated that this Hg is continuously released as vapour into mouth air; then it is inhaled, absorbed into body tissues, oxidized to ionic Hg, and finally covalently bound to cell proteins.

Animal and human experiments demonstrate that the uptake, tissue distribution, and excretion of amalgam Hg is significant, and that dental amalgam is the major contributing source to Hg body burden in humans.

Current research on the pathophysiological effects of amalgam Hg has focused upon the immune system, renal system, oral and intestinal bacteria, reproductive system, and the central nervous system.

Research evidence does not support the notion of amalgam safety.

The following are a few of the research sites that have investigated the potential health risk posed by mercury:

To access these internet sites, please press ‘Ctrl’ then use your mouse to click on the site address:

1.         Lorscheider FL,

2.       Vimy MJ,

3.       Summers AO.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to access our web site or call our Secretary