amalgam fillings

Katie - posted on 06/13/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )




I posted regarding this a while back but now I actually have to go in and get this stupid filling removed so I worried all over again! I have 8 silver fillings in my mouth, and absolutely horrible teeth despite my attempts to take great care of them. I am currently a few days shy of 34 weeks pregnant and facing a badly cracked tooth with a big silver filling in in that is starting to give me some pain. If that were the end of the story, I would leave the bloody thing be and deal with it after this little guy is born...BUT...I am also very prone to SEVERE mouth infections (proven by 4 awful abscesses, resulting in root canals, along with about a gazillion other terrible dentist visits) and I grind my teeth...badly. Very badly actually, I have anxiety disorder and my jaw and teeth are what suffers when I am feeling particularly anxious.

Having said all that, my current dentist does use most of the precautions for removal of silver fillings. High powered suction, keeping the tooth cool, chunking it out instead of drilling the whole shebang, dental dam, etc...But I am still terrified that I am going to have this done and fill my baby with inhaled mercury vapour. I am really really looking for some mom out there to come and reassure me. Has anyone else had a silver filling removed or replaced while pregnant? Was your baby ok? I am not really looking for anyone to tell me not to do it because that isn't really an option at this point. I am going to grind and grind until the tooth crumbles apart and be in an even worse situation if I leave it, plus it is just gonna hurt worse and worse the longer it goes untreated. So like I said, any success stories for an overly anxious mom?


Katie - posted on 06/28/2011




So I figured that I would update this because I know how hard I have looked for any info on amalgam filling removal during pregnancy, and how little luck I have had. So maybe someone else might be interested...

I had the stupid filling removed yesterday (at 35 weeks 4 days pregnant) and I worried myself completely sick about it. But it needed to be done, because I would rather deal with it on my own terms than in an emergency situation where my options might be more limited.

My dentist was very understanding about my concerns and took the following precautions;
1. used a nasal cannula with O2 (not as good as an oxygen mask, but better then nothing)
2. used a high power suction continuously during drilling.
3. sprayed the offending tooth with cold water continuously during drilling.
4. drilled around the filling and "chunked" it out in one big piece. Meaning that as little of the filling was drilled as possible.
5. Used a dental dam that was replaced after the filling was removed and before the new filling (composite) was put in.
6. Wiped off my face and any skin that was exposed during drilling after the amalgam had been removed and before the composite was put in.
7. changed all protective materials (ie his gloves, assistants gloves, bib, etc...)
8. did the procedure in a room with a hepa filter.
And I also drank a butt load of water the day before it was done (don't know if that helps but it certainly can't hurt) and took vitamin c like it was going out of style.

So this was done yesterday morning and the appointment took almost 2 hours because I needed lots of breaks to sit up because I have a 40 lb belly hanging off of me, and because I don't freeze well and that was an ordeal in itself. The filling was REALLY deep and will probably need a root canal but the dentist was hesitant to finish the procedure and make me endure any more time reclined in the chair. So he cleaned it out and put in a temporary composite filling that should (knock on wood) last until the new baby is a couple months old and we have gotten through the extra exhausting new-new born phase.

I had a lot of pain yesterday (most of which I would contribute to pinched gums from the dental dam being placed and replace a few times, and a broken ligament freezing needle that has left a giant bruise on my gums.) And tylenol is about it for pain relief so I was a bit of a grump. Today I am feeling a fair amount better. Although I am noticing that I am extra tired...This could likely be due to my advanced state of pregnancy, my lack of sleep because I have been worrying about mercury toxicity, the fact that my toddler decided to wake up at 1:30 last night and not go back to sleep until three, or the fact that I had pretty intense dental work done yesterday...Or it could be because my mercury levels have risen. I guess I wont ever know...Sooooo, I am going to hope and assume that my fuzzy brain and exhaustion can be explained away by the trails and tribulations of motherhood and the third trimester of pregnancy.

Like I said, maybe no one will every read this, but I am going to update anyways when little Myles (thats the new guys name) makes his appearance. Maybe I can reassure another stessy mommy.

Amanda - posted on 06/13/2011




Hi! I would think of it this way: Having the filling removed is going to expose you and baby short-term to the mercury vapors. The tooth is cracked and if you leave it until after the pregnancy then you are choosing to continuously and slowly expose you and baby to mercury vapors, possible continuous infections and antibiotic treatments, pain, etc. Many studies say that the mercury vapors are released on a continuous basis and not just if there is a problem with the filling or tooth.

If it were me, I would have the filling removed just for those reasons.

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Hi Katie. I recently read both of your messages. I was given an amalgam filling at 34 weeks by a dentist who should have known better. I since read about all the risks and freaked out. At 36 and a half weeks I went to a mercury safe dentist in Harley street to have it removed. He used a lot of precautions as well. Separate oxygen supply and something to block off my throat as much as possible without being sedated and a rubber dam etc. he also measured the amount of mercury in my system before doing this by having me breath into a machine. It was 63 micrograms per cubic meter. But I don't really know how bad that actually was. I feel so much happier now it is removed as was distraught to think if and when I bf my baby I would be passing mercury to it (don't know what I am having). I am also trying to get my dentist to pay for my private treatment as he did not follow dept of health guidelines. Even though I have enough to do I have written a complaint letter to the dentist and will also send it to my primary care trust, the GDC and the dept of health. I will update how I get on with this as well as how my baby is when born. I would be interested to know how you are getting on now as well. I hope this helps other readers who go through this panic. Fingers crossed all will be ok.

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