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Safety of different filling materials

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My 3yo ds is scheduled to finally have his teeth fixed. There's a lot of decay and he's in pain, and I'm convinced we need to do something. He'll have one pulled, another three in front capped with white caps, one molar capped with stainless steel, and several other cavities (the dentist isn't sure how many until he does xrays which will happen the day the work is done once he's under GA) filled. The dentist was great about listening to our questions and explaining why he wanted to do the work he recommended, and acknowledged that we had options and would make the final decision. He said, though that in a 3yo, he would only use amalgam filling because it is sturdier than the white ones and he wouldn't want to have to think about replacing a filling that had to be done under GA. That makes sense, but I'm still concerned about all the mercury in those fillings. I know the other stuff has bpa. The dentist says the amalgam is safe and welcomed me to share any studies that say otherwise. I'd love to hear some thoughts on what you'd feel safe putting in your kid's mouth, evidence supporting one thing or the other, etc. He also said that he's pretty sure nobody else in our area would do white fillings on a 3yo. I tend to believe him, but I'd feel better if others would confirm whether other dentists prefer amalgam too. He mentioned as another option capping the teeth that need fillings, but didn't like the idea because it's overkill and would require taking away extra health tooth.
Thanks!
post #2 of 16
I would absolutely NOT accept amalgam for my kid's fillings. It is used mostly for dentist convenience, as it can be done very quickly. Amalgam fillings (installation or removal) are the #1 cause of mercury pollution in US rivers.

Composite fillings have a reasonable life expectancy (mine are 5 years + old with no failures). By 4 years old (or so) your kids will be old enough to have dentistry done without GA, so the dentist's reasoning seems pretty lame from this perspective. Many pediatric dentists (and some adult dentists) no longer place amalgam. In my opinion, composites ("white fillings") are safer than amalgam.

I have never heard of any risks with the SSC (stainless steel crown).
post #3 of 16
Amalgam fillings are a bad plan and you don't have to tell him why you don't want them--the burden is not on you to show him studies, it's up to you, as the consumer, to say that you don't want a certain product. I get a bit ticked when healthcare providers think that we, as consumers, are the ones who need to defend our decisions and/or convince them--we are hiring them for their knowledge and opinion and skills, but the responsibility for those decisions rests with us.

I've gone blah blah blah, perhaps too much, in this forum, as I've been fixing my health. It started a downhill slide in my early teens when my amalgams were placed. IMO no one needs extra mercury in this world which is already overflowing with hidden heavy metals and other weird chemicals.

FWIW, my fillings are composite and I'd rather deal with the BPA (folate and B12 for healthy methylation help there) than the mercury.

There's a Chelating Mamas thread that discusses this from both the perspective of adults dealing with amalgam-related illness and the mercury-related problems our kids have had as a result of growing in us (not even amalgam in their mouths). Not everyone is going to have problems like my family does, but I don't think it's a risk anyone should take when composite is available.

Some dentists aren't great at placing composite, I understand it takes practice. Around here, young kids get composite, it certainly _can_ be done well, so I'd shop around.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyalynn View Post
Amalgam fillings are a bad plan and you don't have to tell him why you don't want them--the burden is not on you to show him studies, it's up to you, as the consumer, to say that you don't want a certain product. I get a bit ticked when healthcare providers think that we, as consumers, are the ones who need to defend our decisions and/or convince them--we are hiring them for their knowledge and opinion and skills, but the responsibility for those decisions rests with us.

I've gone blah blah blah, perhaps too much, in this forum, as I've been fixing my health. It started a downhill slide in my early teens when my amalgams were placed. IMO no one needs extra mercury in this world which is already overflowing with hidden heavy metals and other weird chemicals.

FWIW, my fillings are composite and I'd rather deal with the BPA (folate and B12 for healthy methylation help there) than the mercury.

...
what is methylation?

to the op- technically, the american dental association says mercury amalgam fillings are safe, so your dentist is simply stating he agrees /the majority of dentists in the us. however, many holistic dentists do not do mercury fillings, ever. they are not attractive looking and it doesnt really matter if the composite fillings last only for a few years, as your child will lose some of those teeth naturally by say, age 6 or 7, right?
post #5 of 16
"American dental association says mercury amalgam fillings are safe"

The ADA can't EVER say amalgam is unsafe, because then some class action lawyers would become even more wealthy. If you look at the indications for use (esp in the EU or Canada) they may explicitly state the product is not intended for children.
post #6 of 16
[QUOTE=tanyalynn;16013163it's up to you, as the consumer, to say that you don't want a certain product. I get a bit ticked when healthcare providers think that we, as consumers, are the ones who need to defend our decisions and/or convince them--we are hiring them for their knowledge and opinion and skills, but the responsibility for those decisions rests with us.
[/QUOTE]

What I hate is when health-care decisions are driven by insurance companies and your pocketbook. I cannot afford to pay for the composite fillings out of pocket all at once. Either he gets the amalgam now with one session of GA or we wait a couple years to save up the money. We couldn't do the "we'll do one filling at a time as we get the money" because the insurance won't cover the repeated sedations, since it can be done at once.

To the OP, I had the exact opposite problem: trying to find a pediatric dentist that WILL use amalgam. Took me over 6 months. I could have taken DS to the dentist that we take DD1 to and gotten the amalgam fillings, but they won't do general anesthesia (DS is severely autistic).
post #7 of 16
I just asked my dentist, and he said he would do composite fillings on a 3 yo. Unfortunately he's not in your area.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post
What I hate is when health-care decisions are driven by insurance companies and your pocketbook. I cannot afford to pay for the composite fillings out of pocket all at once. Either he gets the amalgam now with one session of GA or we wait a couple years to save up the money. We couldn't do the "we'll do one filling at a time as we get the money" because the insurance won't cover the repeated sedations, since it can be done at once.

To the OP, I had the exact opposite problem: trying to find a pediatric dentist that WILL use amalgam. Took me over 6 months. I could have taken DS to the dentist that we take DD1 to and gotten the amalgam fillings, but they won't do general anesthesia (DS is severely autistic).
may i ask why you would want to put mercury fillings in a child's mouth who is "severly autistic"? this seems strange, considering the research out there showing that mercury and other environmental toxins may contribute/be related to development of autism. Mothering Magazine, who sponsors these forums, publishes articles about these connections all the time...

i get it, that they are cheaper (mercury fillings), but stainless steel caps can be done after pulpotomys (baby root canals) and ss is safer and perhaps more biocompatable in my mind, then mercury amalgam.

does every single one of his teeth need to be worked on now, or could some be done under GA or concious sedation, and some be done when he's older, one at a time, so that you could save the money up for it. could some teeth be pulled? i know, pulling has it's own problems w/palate development, and possibly speach, but spacers can be put in and they are not made of mercury. just my 2 cents, you of course are the mama and have to do what's right for you/your fam.
post #9 of 16
My prior boss (holistic/biological dentist) would use a product called Grandio which is a composite material with no estrogen or BPA (almost all composite has both) and in his opinion was/is the best composite out there. If your dentist is open to it, he/she may order this product at your request.

I strongly recommend not allowing your DDS to place any amalgam in your child's mouth. I would also stay away from pulpotmys as well. It is like having something dead/rotting in your body, not healthy! The alternative would be to have the tooth extracted... with a space maintainer placed.

In our office, we would have patients take charcoal tabs, have oxygen administered and our DDS and assistant would wear respirators to reduce the risk of off gassing. It was taken VERY SERIOUSLY as a toxin while removing amalgam.

Here are a few links....

http://www.iaomt.org/patients/index.asp

http://www.iaomt.org/videos/

http://www.holisticdental.org/

I know from experience how overwhelming these choices can be. I have also watched and assisted patients from day one in the removal of toxins. It is absolutely amazing to see a person be so damn toxic and emerge from that.

Good luck to you!
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post
What I hate is when health-care decisions are driven by insurance companies and your pocketbook. I cannot afford to pay for the composite fillings out of pocket all at once. Either he gets the amalgam now with one session of GA or we wait a couple years to save up the money. We couldn't do the "we'll do one filling at a time as we get the money" because the insurance won't cover the repeated sedations, since it can be done at once.

To the OP, I had the exact opposite problem: trying to find a pediatric dentist that WILL use amalgam. Took me over 6 months. I could have taken DS to the dentist that we take DD1 to and gotten the amalgam fillings, but they won't do general anesthesia (DS is severely autistic).
In most cases, you can have the composite placed and pay the difference of the amalgam fees. If your DDS is hip, they will bill that they placed the amalgam or you can ask to do the billing yourself! There is a way!!

I also agree with organicmidwestmama on the point of autism and amalgam. The research is overwhelming that it is not positive for autistic children or anything living for that matter!
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xantho View Post
In most cases, you can have the composite placed and pay the difference of the amalgam fees. If your DDS is hip, they will bill that they placed the amalgam or you can ask to do the billing yourself! There is a way!!

I also agree with organicmidwestmama on the point of autism and amalgam. The research is overwhelming that it is not positive for autistic children or anything living for that matter!
I asked my insurance and nope. They won't cover it at all--they will deny it altogether. Even still, if I paid out of pocket for the amalgam, I'm looking at about $65 per filling. If they do composite, they (every dentist I called--and I think I called every pediatric dentist within 100 miles of where we live) are billing for composite if they place composite. At $200 per filling. Even if they only billed the difference, that would be about $135 per filling. He needs about 8-10 fillings and waiting could make it worse. Besides, I've had the worst luck with composite fillings--every one I had had to be replaced after about 5 years. (I've since had them replaced with amalgam and not one issue since I got them done in my teens and early twenties.) Talking with our dentist, I've learned that many times compo$ite$ only la$t about 5-10 year$ before they need to be replaced, and that he sees people dying of old age with amalgams that were placed when they were young.
post #12 of 16

That is really too bad.  I can't stand insurance companies.  I understand the financial aspect for sure, working in billing for years.  I still do not support the use of amalgam, they expand over time and fracture the tooth and the off gassing just isn't worth it, to me.  I understand you have to do what is best for your family.  Good luck to you. 

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the encouragement to push for the composite.  I did the research, sent the dentist some studies, not because I felt I had to prove anything to him, but because I got a generally good feeling about him and wanted to give him a chance to see things from my perspective and to have a discussion where he could tell I was serious and informed about my concerns, and hoped he would approach the situation openly and collaboratively.  I sent him and email a few days ago and he just called back and we had a good discussion.  He explained again why he thought amalgam was best, and we talked about how there are studies to support every opinion out there, and that the data is inconclusive.  We talked about his concerns about potentially having to redo composite fillings before the teeth fall out and if its only a year or two for any of them it won't be fun.  We talked about my concerns and he agreed that as long as we understand the risks and benefits its our choice and he'll do what we want.  Here's his clarified position.  He's comfortable doing composite fillings on chewing surfaces.  He's less comfortable with them on surfaces between teeth, because he thinks its more likely to break down sooner.  We won't know if or how many between teeth surfaces there are until ds is under GA and has xrays done, and at that point we won't want have the opportunity to stop and discuss.  He'll do the composite fillings there if we want, though it's not his recommendation.  He also mentioned as a possibility stainless steel crowns on any teeth that have cavities between teeth.  He says they're very strong, though its generally considered overkill for teeth that just have cavities, and the material doesn't have safety concerns. 

I'm happy with the way this is going.  I had a good feeling about him, and I'm satisfied with him going with our informed choice even if its not his preference.  Now the question is, if we're just talking about unknown between teeth surfaces, and composites have an average lifespan of 7.8 years, which would make my 3.5 year old almost 11 before they are likely to break down, should we consider stainless crowns for some of the back teeth?  What would you do if it was your child? 

Thanks again!!

post #14 of 16

I just did a search on IAOMT and found a PPT which showed Grandio does have both BPA and xenoestrogens. http://www.google.com/cse?cx=015448055710599057134:rgtls4sbu3i&cof=FORID:0&q=grandio Granted, the amount of each is one of the lowest found, but it's still not comforting to me. I wish I could find a material that doesn't worry me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xantho View Post

My prior boss (holistic/biological dentist) would use a product called Grandio which is a composite material with no estrogen or BPA (almost all composite has both) and in his opinion was/is the best composite out there. 
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by buttercupmama View Post

I just did a search on IAOMT and found a PPT which showed Grandio does have both BPA and xenoestrogens. http://www.google.com/cse?cx=015448055710599057134:rgtls4sbu3i&cof=FORID:0&q=grandio Granted, the amount of each is one of the lowest found, but it's still not comforting to me. I wish I could find a material that doesn't worry me.

 


 Yep.. you are right... I meant to say that it has the least of these materials as compaired to others.   No dental material is completely "safe".  The only safe bet is not to have cavities.

 

post #16 of 16

I was reading that composites can last as long as amalgams.

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