Today, Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent, which often involves given up sweets, chocolate or another favourite treat until the start of Easter, to honour Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert. Giving up such sugary sweets is not only good for your spiritual health but also your physical health and is the very best way of preventing the developing of cavities and tooth decay.
One of the most common procedures dentists provide is the filling of cavities. Through a process known as ‘filling’ damages to teeth are repaired. Fillings may be required for a number of reasons, including general wear and tear associated with normal activities, such as eating and nail biting and decay, which has arisen due to poor oral hygiene.
During a filling procedure a London serving dentist will use local anaesthesia to numb the afflicted area. Once the anaesthesia has begun working the decay (if applicable) is removed using a drill or dental pick or, in more advanced cases, a laser. After all of the decay is removed, the tooth is shaped to prepare it for filling. The final step is to fill the tooth and send the patient on their way.
Fillings are generally harmless, quick procedures and millions are performed each year around the world. While there is nothing to be concerned about when it comes to the procedure itself, some holistic healthcare professionals raise concerns about the use of mercury in some amalgams used in fillings.
Dental fillings can be administered as metal amalgams made of mercury, silver, tin and other metals, or they can be administered as composite resin, gold or ceramic. Metal amalgams are the least expensive type of fillings on offer, but there is concern over the amount of mercury used in their creation and the effect this can have on patients.
The World Health Organisation has reported findings that the mercury used in amalgams is not likely to stay ‘locked’ within the amalgam. Instead, the mercury can slowly leak into the body, causing severe illnesses. While the topic is still in debate around the world, some cultures have completely banned the use of metal amalgams.
While the jury is still out on the effects of mercury in dental amalgams, those needing fillings should be aware that mercury is capable of penetrating all living cells in the human body. It is also more toxic than lead and arsenic and scientists and researchers are still unsure about how much mercury is safe for humans.
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