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Just found out dentist put a "metal" filling in my 5yo's mouth! WWYD?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My DH took my boys to the dentist to get fillings and when the dentist asked him what kind of filling to put in (while my son's mouth was open are already prepped), he asked which is less toxic. He says she looked at him like an idiot and said one is plastic, one is metal. He knows I don't like plastic so he picked "metal." This happened on Friday and I found out this morning while he was telling his dad on the phone. I was livid! I know he did the right thing in asking and I feel like she completely lied to him. What dentist doesn't know there is 50% toxic mercury in the "metal?" And he flat out asked her. I was really mad at DH too as he absolutely should have called but he thought he was doing the right thing by asking...


So... now what do I do?? I feel like I have to switch dentists and have his tooth pulled. (I know I can have it removed if I can find an experienced dentist but I'm thinking it might just be less stressful and traumatic having the tooth removed. I hate to do that to him but how can I just sit by knowing he has a chunk of mercury sitting essentially right next to his brain??

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

Really no thoughts on this? I'm completely sick about it and can't believe we are even in this position.

post #3 of 14

I wouldn't have chosen it, but personally I don't think I would pull the tooth.


If you can afford it find someone that will do a proper extraction.. but if not done properly would result is way more mercury exposure than a lifetime of having the filling.


Sorry you went through this.. the dentist should never have implied in any way that metal was safer.. it's so normal now that metal fillings are looked down on.

post #4 of 14


Quote: http://www.intelligentdental.com/2010/10/10/are-mercury-dental-fillings-safe-during-pregnancy/
Metallic mercury gains access into the body via skin and lungs. Ingested metallic mercury is poorly absorbed by the guts, so primary portal into the body is through inhalation. Numerous studies have shown that mercury vapor is released from amalgam daily and enter into the blood stream via alveoli of the lungs. Mercury also get ingested through wear of amalgam restorations. But studies have shown that absorption of ionic mercury or mercury that is trapped within an amalgam is very poor. Furthermore, the most toxic mercury, methyl mercury, is only found in the diet, with fish (especially shark, swordfish and tuna) contributing a significant portion, is not found in amalgams.



Most of the danger is putting it in because the fumes seem to be most problematic.



Quote: http://guidetodentistry.com/are-mercury-fillings-safe/
Keep in mind, however, that the most exposure to mercury you will get is when old silver fillings in your mouth are removed. Removal of a silver filling does create a lot of mercury vapor, which can be controlled by high-speed suction and the use of a rubber dam. Some dentists even have a vapor evacuation unit to control the mercury (which I do not have) and limit exposure to that mercury vapor.
post #5 of 14

Oh no, mama! I honestly don't know what I would do. Try to stay calm and research your options.


One thing that I absolutely would do, however, is change dentists! No if, and, or buts about it. Find one that is aware of the toxicity of mercury in fillings. My dentist will have nothing to do w/them and he isn't even a holistic dentist. My dh's dentist was all for mercury fillings (he just retired last year, btw) and I told dh when he went in for a filling that he should inquire about it and not get a mercury filling. The dentist told him, flat out, "Never in my 30 years of practicing dentistry have I ever seen anyone die from a mercury filling." It's all he uses. UGH!! Dh got the filling. 


GL w/your decision...

Not an easy situation to be in!

post #6 of 14

Done is done, and I would leave it alone.  Most mercury exposure happens when it is being put in or taken out - so I hope the dentist used rubber dams and proper safety precautions - and having it removed could result in much greater exposure than just leaving it in.  As for having the whole tooth extracted, well, I doubt you could find a dentist who would be willing to extract an otherwise healthy tooth and even if you could, it would involve unneeded pain and hardship for your DS as well as having him put at risk for having his permanent teeth come in wrong without a proper baby tooth to hold the place for it (I could be wrong, but I don't think the artificial spacer they implant to hold the space works quite as well as a real tooth).  

post #7 of 14


Is it a baby tooth? If so I would pull it. If it is permanent It would depend on the location of the tooth. I'm really sorry this happened! Definitely find a new dentist.
post #8 of 14

I would leave it. Our dentist recommended DH have his metal fillings removed and replaced with ceramic ones and we decided that the extraction technique would probably increase the amount of exposure. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it that much. It is done. I would find another dentist though. 


One thing, I have only ceramic fillings in my mouth. Why would the dentist put in plastic fillings instead of ceramic? 

post #9 of 14

Oh and I wouldn't pull it. You could traumatize the poor kid if you do that.

post #10 of 14

For sure find another dentist!  I would do a lot of research before having the mercury removed.  It has to be done by someone who really knows what they are doing.  I had my mercury fillings removed without any problems (and replaced with ceramics).  My health-fanatic father footed the bill so I have no idea how much it cost.

In the meantime, I've heard chlorophyll can pick up free floating mercury in the body and help deter any negative effects.  Maybe you can look into that, I'm not sure of dosage or anything for your son's age.

If like pp asked, if it's a baby tooth, I'd ask the new dentist what possible ramifications would occur if it was pulled...it might effect his tooth alignment as new teeth grow in, but I'm not sure...

post #11 of 14

There are issues with the theoretical safety of the resin fillings as well.  Neither is perfect.  There are yucky things in both sort of fillings.  That said, unless it was a tooth in the front of the mouth, I would prefer a mercury/silver amalgam filling on a child's tooth.  They are easier to put in correctly with a squirmy kid, and they usually last longer.  I certainly think that pulling an otherwise healthy tooth is overkill. 

post #12 of 14

I would leave it alone!!!!


The potential harm that one filling would cause during it's short stay (since this was most likely put in a baby tooth) is really low.  The potential tramatizing of the child by having it removed (either by extracting the tooth or redoing the filling) is much higher.  And, let me tell you (from experience), you don't want a traumatized child.  With that, someday you may just end up needing to sedate said child just to have any work done at the dentist.  And then, to make it worse, that child might not respond well to the oral sedation and you may just get stuck actually NEEDING an anethisiolgist (sp?) so that she can be 'sleeping' during dental work.  Even though my dd is much better at handling the dentist now, she still gets a private room with me holding her hand when work is being done.  She is 11 now, and cries through the entire process.  



post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

 Thank you for your input mamas. I have calmed down a bit and I'm waiting for the dentist office to be open tomorrow to find out exactly what they did. When I look in his mouth it looks like they actually put it into his two back molars (same side, next to each other). I have no problem with having one tooth pulled but I won't have both pulled of course. I don't think it would be too traumatic as I have had countless teeth pulled when I was young as I just had way too many teeth to fit into my mouth.


I did find a biological dentist that does extractions that isn't too far away and it's "only" $105 for the extraction which is much less than I was thinking it would be. They use rubber dams, charcoal, air filters, heavy suction, etc etc to make sure it is safe so I'm considering going this route. The kicker is though that it's another $200ish per tooth to refill them. They do take our insurance but I'm not sure if the insurance company would pay it...


So still debating what to do. Still can't believe we ended up in the situation. And we will absolutely be changing dentists!! I think I would be sick every time I had to enter that place. The way the dentist handled the situation is in my opinion inexcusable and I'll be sure to politely as I can tell her how I believe the situation should have been handled. (Discussing the filling before the procedure started and having an honest answer to a very blunt question (which is less toxic?)


I greatly appreciate the advice, links, and opinions. I'll certainly be spending the next few days researching and trying to find a solution we can all live with.


Oh and yes these are his baby teeth but I'm pretty sure they aren't supposed to fall out until he is 12 so that means another 6 1/2 years or so before they do. That is a very long time to me. :(

post #14 of 14

If you extract the tooth you should have a space filler put in.  I would not do it, though.  


There is no way I would extract the filling and refill the tooth.  Extracting of the filling is more dangerous than leaving it alone.  



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