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Dental Amalgam Filling Replacement


Dental amalgam fillings

All studies show that the removal or placing of dental amalgam fillings increases the amount of mercury in circulation for at least three months. This figure has always been assumed to represent the time the body takes to detoxify and excrete mercury but, in reality, probably represents the time taken to store the mercury in tissues such as the brain, thyroid, adrenal glands and liver with relatively little being excreted.

A lot of dentists will not replace dental amalgam fillings without good reason because this increased exposure to mercury is recognised. Also, the current official line, of course, is that the mercury in dental amalgam fillings does not pose a health threat.

However, most dentists will refute or be unaware of any kind of link between exposure to mercury vapour from dental amalgam fillings and the appearance of symptoms. This is because the body is very efficient at storing noxious substances and also because there is a significant time delay between exposure to mercury and the appearance of related symptoms.

This occurs because the extracellular environment (the fluid around the cells) has to become saturated before any substance can enter the cell and also because the adverse effects of mercury absorbed into the nerve endings that supply the various organs and systems may take years or even decades to manifest. Also, most dentists are used to seeing relatively healthy patients for the most part and not people who may be critically ill.


When to undertake dental amalgam filling replacement

It is essential to have undertaken substantial mercury detoxification prior to removal of your dental amalgam fillings if you are very unwell. The process of mercury detoxification necessarily involves deliberately re-toxifying the body ie: pulling mercury out of ‘safe’ storage in order to detoxify and excrete it.

In someone whose body is struggling to cope with chronic mercury poisoning, an additional exogenous exposure from dental amalgam filling removal can easily tip the balance and make some very sick people critically unwell. For this reason, dental amalgam replacement is best left until you feel strong enough to handle it and when you have already substantially reduced your body burden of mercury.


Where to go

Whilst all dentists are technically capable of replacing dental amalgam fillings, many are unaware of the health risks posed by further exposure to mercury vapour in those whose health is already seriously compromised by chronic mercury poisoning. However much you may like your regular dentist, if they are not specifically an anti-amalgam or holistic dentist, ideally running a dedicated amalgam-free, holistic, homeopathic or biological dental practice then you must look elsewhere.

The dentist should be using a rubber dam and an oxygen supply while removing the dental amalgam filling(s) delivered through a nosepiece or using a damp cloth over the nose. They may also be using ionic selenium (or similar) as a mouthwash to absorb excess mercury vapour. Most importantly, the dentist should have also either prescribed (or referred you to someone who has prescribed) various supplements for use before, during and after dental amalgam replacement. Some holistic dentists also use intravenous vitamin C and other agents during treatment. 

Also, if the dentist seriously believes in the toxicity of mercury vapour (to which they are exposed all day) they should be taking measures to protect themselves and their chair-side staff – certainly taking supplements and possibly wearing protective breathing equipment. See the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) recommendations for Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings for more.

If you cannot find or cannot afford to see a biological dentist in your area then the following precautions will help to ameliorate the risks of amalgam filling removal:

  • Read my book The Natural Recovery Plan so that you can have detoxified some of your mercury burden and optimised your routes of excretion (kidney, liver/colon) prior to undertaking treatment.
  • The Natural Recovery Plan book also details a supplement regime for use before, during and after your dental amalgam filling replacement so as best to protect your body and aid rapid elimination of the mercury vapour to which you will inevitably be exposed by the procedure.
  • In the run up to the appointment make sure you are not constipated by supplementing pysllium husks, eating a fibrous diet or having colonic hydrotherapy as this allows mercury to be excreted in the faeces/bile.
  • You may want to supplement the herb Milk thistle starting at least several days prior to your appointment. This helps promote liver and kidney detoxification while protecting both these organs.
  • Supplementing selenium before, during and after treatment will also help to promote detoxification.
  • Supplementing Chlorella pyrenoidosa supplements starting at least a week prior and continuing for several weeks afterwards will also help to bind mercury for elimination in the stool.  
  • Drinking milk or soy milk and taking activated charcoal on the day of treatment both also promote capture of mercury for excretion in the faeces.  
  • Purchase and take with you some ionic selenium and use it diluted to rinse your mouth before, during and after treatment.
  • The dentist should use a rubber dam at least while removing the amalgam fillings.
  • The dentist should section the amalgam filling and remove it in chunks rather than drilling it out.
  • The dentist should use copious amounts of irrigation and suction and should also rinse the mouth under the rubber dam (if used). 
  • You can saturate a gauze square or paper towel in the ionic selenium and place it over your nose and then place a further damp paper towel over your face while drilling takes place.
  • Your clothes and hair should be covered as much as possible with a paper bib, cap, etc.
  • If possible, use a clean air or oxygen supply at least while drilling the amalgam fillings.
  • Spread crushed chlorella tablets around your mouth/rubber dam prior to treatment.
  • Take several grams of vitamin C as soon after treatment as possible (but not before because it may affect the local anaesthetic) and continue to take several grams of vitamin C spaced out over the day for at least several days afterwards.
  • Drink copious amounts of water to help flush your kidneys during and after amalgam filling removal. 
  • Don't be embarrassed by doing any of the above - you are protecting yourself from the most toxic non-radioactive substance known to man!


Please refer to the Useful Contacts page of this website for all the contact addresses you are likely to need to locate a suitably qualified dentist to undertake dental amalgam filling removal.


Where to start

Replacing dental work will probably prove to be one of the more expensive aspects of regaining your health once you have become seriously and/or chronically ill. It can also prove quite physically trying to have a lifetime of dental work replaced within a relatively short period of time, especially if your health is compromised and your ability to respond to any kind of stress may be poor.

Ideally you want to agree a programme of systematic dental amalgam filling replacement with your dentist that is both financially and physically viable. Some specialist dentists will test the galvanic charges on the dental amalgam fillings and then remove them in sequence from those with the strongest negative galvanic charge to the least reactive. This is because the galvanic charge is believed to be a good indicator of how electrically active the particular filling is and as a consequence, how much mercury vapour the filling is likely to be producing.

In this way, the dentist may identify that one or two dental amalgam fillings are creating the majority of the problem and, if finances are an issue, these can be tackled first. Other anti-amalgam dentists remove all fillings in one go sometimes under sedation (to make it more tolerable) and yet others remove one filling every 6-8 weeks or so to lessen the impact on the body.

The presence of gold in the mouth is thought to increase mercury vapour release from dental amalgam fillings through galvanic action by a factor of ten. Also, the presence of either a gold or a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown or bridge placed over what is known as a dental amalgam base (or ‘core’) also creates a galvanic current which is thought to drive mercury into the tissues. So addressing these issues may substantially reduce mercury exposure.


Further resources

For detailed information about managing replacement of dental amalgam fillings please refer to the book Chronic Fatigue, M.E., and Fibromyalgia: The Natural Recovery Plan.

You might also be interested in the following: 

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The Role of Toxic Metals in Fatigue Syndromes

Is Dental Amalgam Safe for Humans?

A History of Mercury Poisoning

About Fatigue Syndromes

Amalgam/Mercury Detox: Top 3 Tips

An Open Letter Explaining Fatigue Syndromes

Biological Dentistry

Research: The Results of Removal of Amalgam Fillings and many other papers available on the Research page. 

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Alison Adams' Interviews

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CFS & Fibromyalgia: The Natural Recovery Plan

60 Minutes: Dental Amalgam

Amalgam/Mercury Detox: Top 3 Tips

Safer Amalgam Removal

Amalgam Removal


Or for all media use the Search facility at the top of the page


Amalgam Filling Replacement: Article summary

This article addresses the important considerations when choosing to have your dental amalgam fillings replaced with mercury or metal-free alternative filling materials. The importance of detoxifying mercury prior to replacement in those that are already ill and the proper technique are addressed.


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The Natural Recovery Plan Information sheet. Copyright Alison Adams 2010. All rights reserved
Dr Alison Adams Dentist, Naturopath, Author and Online Health Coach

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