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January 26, 2014 – Everyone in St. Augustine is trying to look better and live better. With the advent of the internet, unlimited information is at our fingertips. This information has allowed to us achieve our goal of looking better and living better. Everyone reads labels now to find out what is in their food or what is in the containers holding their food and water. What we put in our body does have an enormous effect on how healthy we are. So, if you are concerned about what goes in your mouth for those 20 seconds, what about the things that stay in your mouth for years and decades?

The traditional black mercury restoration (filling), or amalgam, was first introduced to dentistry in 1819. It has been the tried and true dental filling for nearly 200 years. And first things first, they work, and they will last for a long time. They are also the cheapest way to fix your tooth. Very few dentists will argue with either of these statements. But let us go back to the first sentence of this paragraph: black mercury. Do you have any of these filling in your teeth? Chances are you do, as billions of them have been placed. But look at the rest of your teeth. Are any of them black? If they are, you may want to contact your St. Augustine dentist to have them examined.

And what about mercury? There are government treaties around the world that have certain restrictions and usage for it because it is so toxic, especially to our central nervous system. The primary material these filling are made of, when placed in your mouth, is mercury. There is no disputing this. Active mercury is in your mouth at the time these fillings are placed. Say that out loud, and let it sink in. Now, science shows that once the material is hardened, it is no longer active. However, when you eat, chew gum, and salivate, some mercury vapor does escape. The government and FDA have decided what is an acceptable amount of mercury exposure for an American. According to the FDA, even if every tooth in your mouth has a mercury filling, you are under that amount. So, they say you can rest assured that they are healthy.

Only problem is, other governments disagree. Most Scandinavian countries have banned the use of mercury fillings. Europe seems to be next in line and then Canada. So amongst the governments of the world, there appears to be a dispute. But what about more locally? There are counties in the United States that have started making dentists place mercury separators on the water lines. The concern is that the water leaving dental offices had too much mercury in it, so they want it removed before it goes into our water supply. And these are not counties far away — Duval county, the county touching St. Johns county, requires these. Science shows that the contained mercury becomes exposed at the time of removal, so you are again exposed to active mercury, and the active mercury enters the water supply. So, the times you are most exposed to mercury is at time of placement and removal. At this point, many are looking for an alternative.

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