Holistic dentists (also known as “bio-compatible”, “biological” or “natural” dentists) consider the whole person (body, mind and spirit) and his or her lifestyle when recommending treatment. Dr. Shlafer understands the importance of a healthy immune system and utilizes treatment methods that will enhance your overall health and wellness.
Mercury or Amalgam Fillings:
The use of mercury in conventional dentistry is a serious controversy and is probably the main reason to choose a holistic dentist-holistic dentists don’t use mercury amalgam. Mercury amalgam (silver) fillings contain about 50% mercury, a substance more toxic than lead or cadmium. Traditional dental authorities allege the mercury is locked into the filling because the atomic structure of mercury is “bound” to the silver and therefore the mercury is biologically inactive. However, recent studies show that mercury vapor actually escapes and is absorbed by the rest of the body. This increases when eating or drinking hot foods and liquids, during chewing or when placement of an amalgam filling is next to a tooth that has been restored with gold or other metals. “Silver” (mercury) amalgam fillings are a potential health risk for everyone, but are of particular concern for those who are chemically sensitive. If you have a number of of amalgam fillings and your immune system isn’t functioning optimally, you may feel symptoms like lethargy, blurred vision, dizziness, muscle aches, numbness, etc. Consider having your amalgams removed-not only are they potentially harmful, they are unsightly as well. Natural looking composites are healthier and more aesthetically pleasing.
Removing “Silver” Fillings and Mercury:
If you are considering having your old amalgam fillings removed, you will be comforted to know that Dr. Shlafer follows specific protocols to protect you from mercury exposure during the removal process. He will also recommend alternative materials and can refer you to a doctor skilled in mercury testing and detoxification. Though silver fillings have been used routinely for the past 150 years, dentists have always been advised to handle mercury amalgam with extreme care. Strict protocols protect the dental staff. Left over “scrap” amalgam is considered hazardous waste by the EPA. Consider this: if the substance shouldn’t come into contact with Dr. Shlafer’s fingers, should it come into contact with the more tender, often compromised tissues of the mouth?