How harmful is amalgam really?

Amalgam is known to have fallen into disrepute for quite some time. The silvery metal alloy, which has been used as filler in teeth for almost 200 years, contains mercury. And that is suspected to go into the body and cause poisoning symptoms. The EU has therefore banned it from July 2018 for children, adolescents up to 15 years and pregnant women. But how dangerous is it really? Should we now have all fillings replaced? How does the body react? And what alternatives are there to amalgam, which still pays the cash register as the only seal variant? Dentist dr. Doris Turnock-Schauerhuber ( went through with us all questions. WOMAN: The discussion about amalgam has been around for years. How dangerous is it really? Turnock: There are two sides to the medal. In fact, there are no recognized studies that confirm that the alloy of mercury and various metals is harmful or causes poisoning. When a filling is well placed, that is properly sealed inside so that it does not come directly on the tooth, and polished outside smooth, it is very resistant to chafing and durable. WOMAN: And the other side? Turnock: Mercury is a volatile material. When laying or drilling out a filling, vapors are generated. With several metal fillings next to each other, such as amalgam, gold or steel, electrical currents can occur in the mouth, as in a battery. This feels like permanent toothache. Acid foods such as soft drinks or wine attack the material. This makes it porous. Older fillings expand or shrink, they can leak. And if they are not completely sealed, mercury can pass directly into the body through minute channels in the tooth. How exactly this works, you just do not know. However, for example, mercury deposits in the brains of Alzheimer's and dementia patients have been increasingly found. WOMAN: Does that mean we should rather exchange all our fillings? Turnock: If you have no complaints, then that is not necessary. But signs such as mouth burning, metallic taste, discoloration, periodontitis, headache or even tinnitus and joint complaints indicate an amalgam load. The symptoms are usually diffuse and often come years after the filling has been placed. We therefore work with a device that measures the vibrations of the organs in the body. In case of strong deviations, the fillings have to get out. WOMAN: They'll just be drilled out and replaced with something else? Turnock: You have to work very carefully here, with special suction and a lot of water cooling, so that no fumes and particles get on the oral mucosa. And then the deposits have to get out of the body. We use a means of special herbs and roots for gargling and drinking. This binds the heavy metals and the body can excrete them via the lymph, skin, kidneys and intestines. It often takes months until everything is gone. We also test that. WOMAN: And then what comes in the tooth instead of the amalgam? Turnock: There are fillings made of plastic, gold or ceramic. Depending on your needs, the appropriate material is selected. I have not offered amalgam for a long time. Personally, I'm a fan of plastic fillings. With the right glue, they keep the excellent, do not discolor and are also priced in the frame. The long-term goal should of course be that we have no more fillings, so caries-free. Since it is important to start with children, with dental care and professional oral hygiene. That's why educating the parents is especially important to me.