I keep hearing about the negative effects of mercury in our bodies. I have a silver filling and just found out it is made mostly of mercury. Seriously? Why are they putting that in our bodies? I went into a mild panic and asked my dentist to remove it and put in one of those white fillings. He thinks I’m over-reacting, but agreed to change it out anyway because it is an old filling. In the middle of the procedure part of the filling fell into my mouth and I swallowed it. Am I poisoned? Will I get sick?
Deanna L. – Ohio
First, let me put your mind at ease. Unless there’s already an issue with your gastro-intestinal track, you will not get sick or die from this one incident with mercury. Mercury poison has more to do with regular ingestion. A simple laxative should get it out of your system quickly. However, if you do have an issue, such as ulcerative colitis or diverticulitis, then you’ll need medical attention. They’ll use a chelating agent to bind the mercury and remove it from your system.
All that being said, your dentist obviously didn’t understand sanitary amalgam removal. If he had he would have taken appropriate precautions. If you ever have to have this done again, your best bet is to go to a holistic dentist. They’d know to use additional suction, air movers, oxygen sources, supplementary barriers and other tools to ensure you and everyone else in the room were protected.
If you’re concerned about these type of issues, you’ll want a dentist who shares your health care and treatment philosophy. At a minimum, you’ll want a mercury-free dentist. They’ll be certain you only are treated with the composite, white fillings. If possible, find a holistic dentist. They’ll consider your overall health while treating your oral health.
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