Avoiding Toxicity of Dental Materials

WILLIAMSPORT, COLLEGEVILLE AND PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – Many Americans work to ensure they maintain their health by eating organic, nutrient-rich foods and keeping an active exercise regimen.
We also encourage our patients to think in terms of the bigger picture when it comes to your health, and to consider whether what’s going on in your mouth- which is a window to systemic health- could cause health problems due to the potential toxicity of dental materials.

“The fact is that several studies have shown- and I agree with them- that some dental materials used in procedures as significant as placing a tooth implant and as simple as filling a cavity can be toxic,” says Dr. David DiGiallorenzo, a Williamsport, Collegeville and Philadelphia  periodontist. “I want to help educate patients on this fact and give them enough information to make an educated decision for themselves.”

Many of the dental materials used can be toxic to your health. As well, they can facilitate metal toxicity and harbor potential bacterial pathogens, creating inflammation and long-term problems.

Dental amalgam is one material on Dr. DiGiallorenzo’s list of toxic materials that he recommends patients avoid. Amalgam is made by combining metals including mercury and an alloy powder that consists of silver, copper and tin, according to information published by the Dental Board of California.

Information posted on says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has admitted that fillings containing mercury can create health issues for women who are pregnant, their fetuses and children.

The primary cause of mercury exposure in Americans is through dental amalgams, according to the Mercola website. One amalgam filling releases up to 15 micrograms of mercury daily. The average person has eight amalgam fillings and could absorb as much as 120 micrograms of mercury each day. As a comparison, dining on seafood that contains mercury exposes a person to just 2.3 micrograms per day.

“Metal dental implants can be another source of toxicity,” says Dr. DiGiallorenzo, who also provides periodontal dental services including metal-free dental implants and periodontal laser surgery.

Biocompatible Materials
Rather than simply accept that many dental materials are toxic, we counsel our patients on the choice of biocompatible materials, Dr. DiGiallorenzo says.

Composite fillings are a great alternative to mercury fillings, he says. And there are metal-free dental implant alternatives, too.

Dr. DiGiallorenzo’s practice was selected in 2009 by Swiss biotechnology company Z-Systems to be the first in the the United States to offer their metal-free implants. These implants are made of zirconium. Studies have shown that patients’ soft tissue and hard tissue responds well to this type of implant, he says.

“Besides being toxic, some patients are allergic to various metals used in dental restorations,” Dr. DiGiallorenzo says. “Metal-free options make it possible for those patients to receive natural-looking, healthy restorations without all of the negative side effects that may accompany metal restorations.”

© 2011 Master Google and Dr. David DiGiallorenzo.

Meet Dr. D

Dr. David DiGiallorenzo received his training at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Periodontics and Periodontal Prosthesis in the early 1990s. His training included prosthodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, and advanced oral reconstructive techniques, including oral implantology.

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