It’s not enough for a dental practice to be just “mercury-free.” That only means that they don’t place any new amalgam fillings. But so long as there are people who already have these fillings in their mouths, a dental practice should also be mercury-safe.
A recent report out of Pakistan pounds the point home. It found “dangerously high” levels of mercury in dental clinics assessed by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute.
“The objectives of the study included checking status of mercury amalgam use and informing dentists and practitioners about its health hazards,” SDPI Researcher Saeed Waqar told The Express Tribune. He conducted the study along with Dr Mahmood Khawaja.
He said patients mostly rely on advice of dentists, as they generally do not know about what kind of material should be chosen for fillings. “It has no immediate affects, but has serious long-term health hazards,” Waqar said.
The study also highlights general unawareness among dental professionals, regarding appropriate handling of mercury and careless use by undergraduate students.
Lest you think such lack of awareness isn’t a problem here, consider that it’s taking legal steps such as the EPA’s proposed amalgam separator rule to help reduce dental mercury pollution. Many dentists in this country still operate without this device, which traps amalgam waste and prevents it from being released into the water supply. But even if the rule goes through, it does nothing to address issues like mercury-contaminated disposables getting tossed into the trash and winding up in landfill.
In fact, there are many routes dental mercury can take into our environment:
Within the dental office, mercury exposure is an issue not only for the patient but every person who works there and every patient who comes in. Though safe removal protocols are immediately concerned with protecting the patient and dental team, everyone benefits from the limiting mercury exposure.
Here in our office, we follow the IAOMT protocol for safe mercury removal, which has become the standard in holistic, biological, mercury-free dentistry.
Looking for a mercury-free, mercury-safe dentist? The IABDM suggests you ask these 13 questions to ensure you choose a skilled and knowledgeable dental to help you on your path toward optimal health.
Image by Bionerd, via Wikimedia Commons