Why I had my mercury fillings removed

Is it time to get the old-style amalgam fillings out of your head once and for all or is it safer to leave them where they are? Tamara Pitelen looks at both sides of the argument while having her own mercury fillings removed… which she admits might be unnecessary.

This afternoon my mercury fillings removed.
Known as amalgam fillings, this material has been used in dentistry to fill cavities caused by tooth decay for more than 150 years.

Hundreds of millions of people have these little metal nuggets nestled in their teeth. What’s the problem with that? It depends on who you ask but the main issue of contention is that, along with a combination
of silver, tin, and copper, amalgam comprises 50 per cent mercury, which is a highly poisonous substance.


Whether or not amalgam fillings are bullets of toxic evilness or a harmless and effective method of fixing cavities is one of the hottest topics in dentistry today. The two sides of the argument are at loggerheads. The huge chasm between the viewpoints is nicely illustrated by these two quotes:

“Amalgam is a primitive, polluting, 19th century product that began when physicians were sawing off legs. Medicine has since moved forward.”

These are the words of Charlie Brown, President of the World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry.

The alternative viewpoint is encapsulated by the American Dental Association (ADA) in this quote:

“Used by dentists for more than a century, dental amalgam is the most thoroughly researched and tested restorative material among all those in use. It is durable, easy to use, highly resistant to wear and relatively inexpensive in comparison to
other materials.”

Amalgam fillings are now no longer used because of the toxicity and the publicity around it. The
new material is a composite resin – interestingly, it’s the very same material used to make Formula One cars. Resin is also toxic but it’s just not as toxic as mercury.

Anecdotally, mercury fillings have been blamed for everything from headaches to depression however,
some dentists say there is no scientific evidence that amalgam fillings are detrimental to health and the resin substitutes have not been tested over time. They argue that we’ve had these amalgams in our mouths for more than 100 years but the resin fillings are an unknown quantity over the longer term.

Amalgam is most dangerous in the first two hours after the filling is placed. That›s you must not eat for several hours after having an amalgam filling. After that, the metal is set, stable and inert and many dentists say that amalgam is far superior to the white resin composites; that the resin will never last as long as the amalgam.


So why am I bothering with all the pain and expense of having my four amalgam fillings removed? Especially when they’ve not given me a minute’s bother since being put in about 30 or so years ago. As far as I can tell they’ve done their job admirably but I’m having them removed and replaced with resin composite fillings because a natural health therapist told me I was basically crazy to leave these lumps of toxic metal in my mouth for another minute.

Derin Bepo, a London-based natural health consultant, is of the opinion that mercury fillings are responsible health challenges that include neurological issues, autoimmune diseases, chronic illnesses and mental disorders. “You’re crazy not to get those removed immediately!” he said.

He and other amalgam critics say mercury is a potent neurotoxin that damages your brain, central nervous system and kidneys.

According to Charlie Brown of the Campaign for Mercury Free Dentistry: “Mercury fillings continue to emit toxic mercury vapour which invades our brains and kidneys.”

Brown is a passionate advocator for mercury-free dentistry. At his website,, he manages to turn amalgam fillings into a race, class and environmental issue. While some of his accusations sound a bit hysterical, he also says amalgam pollutes water via dental clinic releases and human waste; air via cremation, dental clinic emissions, sludge incineration, and respiration; and land via landfills, burials, and fertiliser. Even the World Health Organization reports that mercury from amalgam and laboratory devices accounts for 53 per cent of total mercury emissions into our environment.

Today, no-one is getting new amalgam fillings but what about with the millions of amalgam fillings already sitting in the mouths of people across the planet? Is it more harmful to remove them than it is to leave them where they are?

I decided I wanted to get a spiritual perspective on the whole subject so off I went to talk to Vanya Silverten, a UK-based Intuitive Healer.

Silverten tunes into Creator, God, the Universe, the Field, the Source of All That Is… call this Higher Intelligence what you will but basically she receives information from it. So I asked her, what does the Intelligence of the Universe think about mercury fillings?

“It’s interesting because Creator is quite neutral about the whole thing. He’s like, ‘it’s just part of human dentistry’. The mercury source isn’t great but it’s just a historical thing, that’s all they had available and now they’re moving into other products.”

Yes but is having these fillings in your mouth detrimental to health? Is the anti-amalgam brigade right about the dangers of leeching mercury?

“The thing is that some people’s leech and some people’s don’t so it’s very individual to each person. Some people do have mercury leeching, it could be because of the food they eat, the way they grind their teeth, the structure of their mouth, or drinking too many hot liquids. So yes, some people do get mercury poisoning from the mercury fillings but other people have no issues at all with them. It is very much on an individual basis so there’s no real for or against.

“Creator would rather we stopped eating sugar or looked after our teeth better; mercury and tooth fillings are not a solution. They are a problem to solve a problem and Creator is more original solution-based. Don’t get the cavity in the first place, change our diets, change the way we brush, there’s a lot of things we have to look at in how we care for our bodies.”

Which is good advice but the human race is now riddled with amalgam fillings, should we have them removed?

That depends, says Silverten. “If they’re small and don’t touch the root then they’re not too bad. It’s the bigger ones that are a problem because what tends to happen is that gums recede, teeth erode, and that’s where you get more of the issues, so it really depends on the size of the mercury filling and how far it goes down.

“But it’s also not good to have so much metal in the mouth. If you have one or two, it’s ok but if you have a whole mouthful of this stuff it creates problems. It will create more tension in the body because it gets in the way of the body’s energy circuits, that can create tension in the jaw, headaches, and that sort of thing because the amalgam is not a conductor so it can scramble the body’s own natural energy rhythms.”

As far as worst-case scenario conditions caused by leeching mercury fillings, Silverten says these include depression, thyroid issues, lymphatic poisoning, mental illnesses and more.

“And blocking the heart chakra. It can block the heart from opening up to love, that’s what heavy metals can do. They stop the body from receiving more love, but it’s not in all people, he’s more pointing to larger fillings and mouths full of fillings.”


So what is the actual procedure like? For me it was painless and over in minutes. My dentist, Jelena Pavesic of Dr Joy Dental Clinic in Dubai, did a great job. I was extremely anxious and almost changed my mind. I knew there would be needles involved. It’s been years since I had injections in my gums and everything about them sounds bad and painful. Then there was the digging out of the old fillings – surely that was going to hurt? Hand on heart, it did not hurt at all. Yes, it’s a bit uncomfortable having someone’s fingers and several metal tools in your mouth at once but that’s all it was; uncomfortable. I barely felt the injections and it was over very quickly. I went in at 5pm, I was on my way out at 5.25pm minus two of the four amalgam fillings. The other two are being done at a second appointment, the reason being that dentists don’t want to numb both the upper and lower jaw on the same side of the mouth in case of accidental cheek or tongue biting. The anesthetic from three injections into my lower jaw took about five hours to wear off.

How do I feel now? No different to be honest. I’m not sure my mercury fillings were causing me any health problems but one thing that is a huge improvement is the aesthetics; now when I laugh or open my mouth, my teeth are all white instead of showing unsightly lumps of silver metal.

Tamara Pitelen had her amalgam fillings removed by Dr. Jelena Pavesic of Dr Joy Dental Clinic, Villa 1021, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai.

Tel. +971 (0)4 328 5332.


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