Award-winning Cosmetic Dentist Kourosh Maddahi provides important information about dental technology and your dental health.
Dental Amalgam and Mercury
Dr. Kourosh Maddahi of Beverly Hills is a biological dentist with your total health and wellbeing always in mind. As a biological dentist, he remains current in the field of toxic materials as they relate to dentistry. One extremely toxic material widely in use today is mercury. Dr. Maddahi's goal is to keep his patients safe, and removing old fillings that contain mercury is one means to a healthier body.
You may have heard of the Roman God, Mercury, the messenger and god of trade. The term mercurial, which refers to someone who is unstable, unpredictable or impulsive, is derived from Mercury's hurried flights from place to place on his winged sandals. Mercury, the element, exhibits some of this volatility when used in a dental amalgam. "Most people are unaware that their dental fillings are 50% mercury," explains Dr. Maddahi.
Dental amalgam, used since the early 1800s, is the most commonly used material for dental fillings. The amalgam is an alloy that contains mercury with at least one other metal such as silver, tin, copper or zinc. Amalgam was used extensively in dentistry because it is quite strong and durable, relatively inexpensive to produce and very easy to apply. It remains soft for some time so that it can be packed tightly into the irregular cavities. It seemed perfect for use as a material in dental restoration.
However, mercury is a heavy metal that is known to be extremely toxic and its use in dentistry has been criticized from the start. The toxic effects of mercury poisoning include damage to the brain, lungs and kidneys. Overexposure to mercury can cause death. The dangers of mercury are well known; mercury thermometers used in schools and medical practices have been replaced with alcohol thermometers, and the mercury in the old thermometers is treated as a hazardous waste. It is difficult to understand how the mercury in a hard, metal filling can be damaging to the body, but several studies show that this is indeed the case. Think about how it feels when you bite down on aluminum foil. The metals in your filling and the aluminum combine with your saliva to make a small battery. This allows the movement of metal ions, and with mercury, the worry is that the mercury ions are dangerous. Mercury also vaporizes at room temperature. This vapor can be inhaled, allowing the mercury to enter your body.
Dr Maddahi is one of the few trained Biocompatible Dentists with IAOMT certification in Beverly Hills. His commitment to biologic dentistry is clear when you first meet him. He is concerned with the health of his patients as a whole, and this may include removal of dental amalgams and replacement with a biocompatible material. He is an expert in the safe removal of mercury fillings, incorporating a special suction system to capture all amalgam fragment and mercury vapor. The goal is to remove the amalgam in the largest size particle possible to reduce contamination. With this, he is successful. "I want healthy patients," explains Dr. Maddahi, "healthy from the inside out."