My trip to the dentist on Tuesday was not a pleasant experience.
It can best be described as a necessary evil :-)
All proceeded as normal, with one upper right tooth and one lower right tooth needing fillings, so there was a heavy dose of local anaesthetic injected. I couldn`t open my jaw after the injection, so I croaked anxiously, "Am I supposed to feel as though I have got lockjaw?".
He laughed and said of course, he had just injected a load of goo right through the muscle and it had gone into spasm as a protest.
Doh. Why didn`t I think of that ? I am a midwife, after all !
He mumbled something to the dental nurse which I didn`t quite hear, then I heard an ominous rumble.
"What`s that ?"
"Oh, it`s just the amalgamator to mix an amalgam filling for this back tooth" he replied nonchalantly.
Bearing in mind he had his hand in my mouth, I shook my head and squawked "No".
"What do you mean, no ?"
He sighed and realised that we were in for the long haul....and took his hand out of my mouth. The dental nurse had turned off the amalgamator, presumably in anticipation of an interesting five minutes. I think she got it :-)
"Research shows....that large white composite fillings in molars tend to break down easily and the tooth can decay under the composite and then you have real problems. So amalgam really is the best option here" (My dentist only rarely uses amalgam fillings, I must add. He is a good guy !)
"I would prefer not to have amalgam; I will take my chances with the white composite filling, thank you" I did manage to reply politely, and also managed not to roll my eyes.
"But the government says that amalgam fillings are safe" he retorted.
This was not a good thing to say to me, as my family will tell you :-)
During my midwifery training, I became interested in the risks to the developing fetus of environmental hazards, and consequently I studied mercury in considerable detail in my own time. I read every available research paper on amalgam published in English that was listed in our medical reference library in the hospital.
One German study showed that women who have an amalgam filling during pregnancy are much more likely to have their baby die in the womb after the age of viability (a stillbirth) than women who have composite fillings. If a chemical introduced in to a woman can cross the placenta and build up to such devastating toxic levels that it can kill a baby, well I am sorry, but I do not want it put in my mouth , thank you very much.
Ever heard of the saying "as mad as a Hatter" ? Remember the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland ? Hatmakers used to use mercury to felt the hats, and over the years, they would go a bit dotty at best, and barking mad at worst.....
Mercury is also currently present in UK vaccines as a preservative, under the name of thiomersal., although the Govt here has finally bowed to pressure and agreed to discontinue the use of such vaccines in favour of the American type , which are now mercury free. The Govt is still bleating about the safety of these old vaccines, whilst simultaneously saying they are doing it for added safety. Go figure............especially as there is a chilling body of evidence that some babies are born without the ability to safely synthesise and excrete mercury, and possibly causing autistic spectrum damage in these children from mild mercury poisoning at a cellular level.
So I just *had* to say to him " OH, the same Govt which is now banning vaccines containing microscopic amounts of mercury as a thiomersal presevative ?"
He just looked at me, raised his eyebrows and prepared to do a white composite filling........
Don`t get me wrong, my dentist is a lovely man, for whom I have immense respect and I do trust his integrity, but this is a topic which I am willing to bet good money I have researched for a lot longer and in greater detail than he has.
Ironically, because the new filling was adjacent to an old amalgam one (from the days when I knew no better), he had to take the most amazing precautions using a whole mouth rubber dam to completely seal my mouth to stop amalgam fragments from getting into mouth and being inhaled or swallowed, and then the stuff inside the dam has to be treated as hazardous waste once it is removed from my mouth.
But it`s still safe, ...........isn`t it ?
Like I said, I have a suspicious mind :-)))))))