Though mercury is fully recognized for its toxicity to humans and the environment, many of us are living with mercury in our dental fillings. Amalgam dental fillings, each time they are stimulated through brushing, eating, and drinking, release mercury into the body in the form of vapors. Ingested and inhaled, these vapors slowly poison the body day by day.
The physical effects of mercury
A known neurotoxin, mercury is a substance that destroys the protective coating around nerves on contact, leading to the immediate death of that cell. In addition to having a profound effect on the neurological system, mercury also has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system, reproductive organs, and immunity. In fact, all living tissue is susceptible to the toxic effects of mercury exposure.
One of the greatest dangers of mercury is that it accumulates in the body due to our inability to break this poison down for elimination. The body does not recognize mercury as a destructive pathogen. On the contrary, mercury is readily incorporated into cells due to its molecular similarities with the various minerals needed for health.
When mercury accumulates in the body, research suggests there is an increased risk of several health concerns, ranging from chronic illness to chronic fatigue to a lack of mental acuity and function.
Removing mercury fillings
The issue of filling removal has been discussed for many years. In the general dental practice, the recommendation may be to leave an intact filling in place. This recommendation, however, comes from a viewpoint at which the toxicity of mercury is not recognized. In the holistic dental practice, the removal of amalgam fillings is not only acceptable but is performed in a precise way to minimize the risk of undue exposure during treatment.
Dr. Michaela McKenzie uses specific protocol for the removal of amalgam fillings that includes:
- Protective eyewear for patients and staff
- Airway protection via supplemental oxygen
- Additional powerful suction and air filtration equipment, which keeps tiny mercury particulates away from the face
- Comfortable draping to protect the skin on the face
- Placement of a latex-free rubber dam to prevent accumulation of mercury particulates in the mouth
Many general dentists will accommodate patients' requests to remove amalgam fillings. Protocol, however, is important if undue exposure is to be avoided. If a dentist does not offer additional protective measures, it is because there is a lack of understanding regarding the immense toxicity of mercury, so, another practitioner may be better suited to perform this procedure.
When seeking a dentist to remove amalgam fillings, the key is to find a practitioner who understands the link between the mouth and the body fully, including dental materials such as amalgam. Asking plenty of questions, you will find Dr. Michaela McKenzie has the precise expertise you need to remove amalgam fillings safely.
Schedule your consultation for amalgam removal at (404) 900-5175.
Tooth decay is something your dentist would much prefer to prevent than to treat!
When it comes to prevention, most dentists act in the same manner. Where the holistic dentist differs is how he or she treats tooth decay.
Conventional treatment for decay
The prevention of tooth decay includes recommended brushing and flossing, as often as after each meal. Dentists also advise their patients to replace sugary snacks and beverages with healthier food choices. Beyond these practices, conventional dentists treat patients with specialized treatment such as fluoride rinses and toothpaste and dental sealants. Sealing is done on molars, where food debris and bacteria may collect in the deep grooves and pits on chewing surfaces.
When decay is identified, damaged tooth material is removed and a filling is placed. Believing that plaque is the cause of cavities, conventional dentists will encourage patients to improve their oral hygiene practices to remove plaque in order to prevent further damage. Very few dentists will counsel their patients on the modifications they can make to diet for the prevention of tooth decay.
The holistic approach to tooth decay
The prevention of tooth decay does not differ much in the holistic dental practice except when it comes to fluoride. This substance is toxic to the body and is not used by the holistic practitioner. As an alternative, dentists like Michaela McKenzie encourage patients to use xylitol, a sweetener that seems to minimize the effects of oral bacteria on teeth. The pH of saliva may also be assessed in the holistic dental office. When the mouth is acidic, there is an increased risk for decay.
Holistic dentists also use the latest techniques for cavity detection. Using an instrument called DIAGNOdent laser cavity finder, Dr. McKenzie can find decay when only minimal damage has occurred to enamel. When cavities are detected very early, they may be efficiently treated with ozone, a powerful natural substance that safely destroys bacteria on contact. In many cases, this early treatment can eliminate the need for a filling.
An exciting development in the treatment of decay
Who doesn't like the idea of handling tooth decay without drilling and without a filling? An exciting product, Icon, may be able to make this, and more, a reality. Icon is also being studied for its ability to eliminate discoloration without bonding or veneers by changing the consistency of tooth enamel and sealing healthy tooth structure.
Dr. McKenzie is on the cutting edge of holistic dentistry. Call (404) 900-5175 to schedule holistic dental care.
When you visit your dentist, you trust that tooth repair will be completed with materials that have been proven to last many years and have shown no evidence of adverse effects on health. Today, the majority of general dentists all over the world have been trained to place amalgam fillings in dental schools, and they have been told that the mercury in the amalgam fillings was safe. The vast majority of general dentists continue to use practices first developed more than a century ago, namely placing mercury filled amalgam dental fillings. Through numerous research studies, the safety and use of dental amalgam has been brought into question, and dentists like Dr. Michaela McKenzie have chosen to not use any materials that are not organically based and tested to be safe. The IAOMT dentists have looked at the scientific research and have been bolstered in their commitment to the use of only the safest dental materials.
It is important to understand that not all dental materials are safe, as sad as this may seem. Both general and holistic dentists regularly perform restorative care ranging from fillings to crowns to implants and other treatments. What differentiates one from the other is the way dental materials are chosen for individual patients.
In many general practices, the choice of material comes down to preference of the dentist or the patient. When providing care to patients, the holistic dentist will take the time to question whether a material may cause an allergy or sensitivity. Common dental materials to consider include:
- Amalgam dental fillings
- Gold dental fillings or crowns
- Composite resin for veneers or fillings
- Porcelain-fused zirconia crowns or bridges
- Porcelain-fused metal crowns or bridges
- All porcelain fillings, crowns, or veneers
The most problematic restorations are those that include metals. Allergies or sensitivities to metal are more common than most people think. In several studies, the presence of metal in the blood has been detected shortly after the placement of a metal restoration. The accumulation of heavy metals in the blood and organs can cause several persistent health concerns, such as chronic fatigue.
In addition to the issue of allergies or sensitivity, there is the concern regarding the "battery effect" which may occur when saliva meets metal restorations. The body is strongly electromagnetic. When metal is placed into the mouth, where electrolytic fluid is present, galvanism results. Oral galvanism is a condition that has effects on health, particularly on the nervous system, which we do not fully understand at this time.
Dental materials are intended to restore strength to a damaged tooth or teeth. At the same time, a restoration should not pose a risk to health and wellbeing. To learn more about the dental materials that are best suited to you, contact the office of Dr. Michaela McKenzie.
Studies regarding the effects of amalgam dental filling have been conducted for decades. A recent Canadian study published in Environmental Health suggests that removing amalgam fillings in the proper way leads to improved memory and mental clarity, a reduction in anxiety and fatigue, and many other health concerns as reported by participants.
There is no doubt among mercury safe dentists that mercury vapors are a threat to health, the question of where "safe" exposure lies has lingered. Amalgams are fifty percent mercury. From each filling, mercury is released in the form of odorless, non-visible vapors – which cross the blood brain barrier, and also get inhaled into the lungs - leading to chronic, low level exposure. The goal of the University of Calgary study was to assess the risk of adverse health effects associated with exposure.
In this study, the amount of mercury present in participants' urine was measured. Some participants had amalgam fillings and some did not. In a personal health history, researchers also gathered data pertaining to health issues.
The primary source of mercury in the human body is amalgam from the silver colored fillings. One finding of the Canadian study was that women tend to have higher levels of mercury than men, presumably due to lower body mass and size. Further research was conducted to measure how much improvement, if any, would occur after the removal of mercury amalgam fillings.
A year after the removal of amalgam fillings, every subject reported an improvement in their previously stated health concerns. Whether improvement could be tied directly to the reduction in mercury load or to a placebo effect could not be definitively assessed. Regardless of ongoing research, experienced holistic dentists such as Dr. McKenzie subscribe to the philosophy that dental materials absolutely affect other organs in the body. In addition to avoiding the use of mercury amalgams in her practice, Dr. McKenzie has been trained in the specific protocol for the safest removal of existing amalgam fillings.
Proper removal of amalgam fillings makes a difference
In addition to studying the effects of mercury from amalgam fillings, research has also been conducted in the area of amalgam removal. Specifically, the excessive increase in mercury load as a direct result of removal. In the standard removal process, in which the filling is drilled out, exposure to mercury particulates is absolutely increased.
In the office of Dr. Michaela McKenzie, amalgam fillings are removed very systematically using the stringent protocol outlined by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. Decreasing risk and improving the health of her patients and staff using specific techniques, Dr. McKenzie provides the utmost in safe dental care. To learn more about safe mercury removal, contact us at (404) 900-5175.
Periodontal disease symptoms and cure
Oral health and physical health are intertwined. Any aspect of your systemic health that is not functioning at optimal levels can affect your overall wellbeing. At Dazzling Smiles, Dr. Michaela McKenzie is an experienced, talented, and respected biological dentist who understands the close connection among oral, emotional, and physical wellness.
Such is the case with gum disease. Many health conditions can be affected by gingivitis and periodontitis, the two forms of periodontal disease. Certain diseases or conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or stroke may be exacerbated, or they may increase your risk of gum disease.
Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease. It occurs when plaque builds and bacteria grow, resulting in inflammation, bleeding gums, and bad breath.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease. If gingivitis is left untreated, the gums and the bone surrounding teeth may recede, forming pockets, which retain debris and they may become infected. Bacteria that exist within plaque begin to erode the bone and tissues that support the teeth. Eventually, bone loss will lead to loss of teeth. Gum disease is the number one cause of edentulism, or tooth loss.
Several factors may contribute to gum disease, such as:
- Plaque buildup and an insufficient oral hygiene routine
- Medications that cause dry mouth reduce the saliva that protects teeth and gums
- Genetics or a history of gum disease
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Certain illnesses or diseases
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bad taste in the mouth or halitosis
- Bleeding, swollen, or sensitive gums
- Receding gums
- Pockets that form between teeth and gums
- Shifting or loosening teeth
- Changes in bite
Gum disease has no cure; however, the condition is manageable with professional treatment and effective oral care. Talk with Dr. McKenzie and our knowledgeable staff today to learn how to achieve a dazzling smile and your healthiest gums. Comprehensive consultations and appointments may be scheduled by calling 404-900-5175.
How flossing can improve your gum health
A healthy and beautiful smile requires healthy gums. At Dazzling Smiles dental practice in Atlanta, serving Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, Michaela McKenzie, DDS, and our professional team believe in empowering our patients with the latest information and education for lifelong oral health and wellness.
An optimal oral hygiene plan will help you maintain your beautiful smile, and strong teeth and gums. One critical component is to develop a trusting and familiar relationship with your dental professionals. Visits to the dentist every six months will keep your teeth and gums clean, and help prevent plaque and bacteria from creating future problems. Dr. McKenzie and our staff monitor any changes that may develop between visits so that potential issues can be detected and addressed.
At-home maintenance is also crucial. Brushing twice per day, in a gentle, circular motion, addressing each tooth individually, will keep your teeth free from debris and build-up of tartar. Dr. McKenzie can recommend the most appropriate type of toothbrush and product for your unique needs.
Flossing is an important part of your daily dental care and one that is sometimes overlooked. Brushing alone may not be enough to ensure healthy gums or prevent gum disease and subsequent tooth loss. Patients with sensitive gums or bleeding may worry about flossing; however, regular flossing improves gum health and reduces the risk of bleeding and irritation. Using a product that is recommended for you, floss between teeth, moving up and down instead of in a sawing, back and forth movement. With your index fingers, gently guide the floss between teeth, back of teeth, and around the gum line. This will remove plaque around your teeth.
Eating healthy foods and avoiding sticky, sugary snacks, along with a proper oral hygiene routine will help you to achieve optimal oral health. For more information about how to care for your teeth and gums, call us today at 404-900-5175.
What are metal-free implants?
Loss of teeth can occur for many reasons, including insufficient oral care, accident, injury, illness, decay, extraction, or gum disease. Thanks to advances in dental treatment and technology, you have options to restore your beautiful and healthy smile. Dental implants are the preferred treatment for edentulism. Whether you have lost one tooth or all of your teeth, implants provide the stability, durability, function, and the appearance of natural teeth.
At Dazzling Smiles, located in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Michaela McKenzie is a respected and experienced doctor of dental surgery with extensive training in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry. Accredited by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Dr. McKenzie is a biological dentist who uses only biocompatible, safe, and metal-free materials for her patients’ optimal health and wellness.
Conventional implants, developed more than 60 years ago, relied on metals such as titanium to replace the root of a missing tooth. Since that time, as patients and leading dentists sought more natural, healthy options than metals for dental restorations, technology has continued to improve. Today, metal-free dental implants are the preferred treatment, both for strength and aesthetics.
Our practice uses metal-free Zirkolith® by zsystems® dental implants, which have several benefits over traditional titanium, such as:
- Naturally white material has no greyish metal that may become visible over time
- Metal-free materials have the best biocompatibility
- Higher success rate
Dental implants are posts that are inserted into the jawbone. The bone naturally fuses to the Zirkolith implant, creating a strong foundation, which provides stability and structure for the surrounding teeth. Once the implant and bone have securely bonded, an extension post is attached to the implant and is topped with an artificial tooth, called a crown. Made of porcelain, with the same light-reflecting characteristics of your tooth’s original enamel, the crown looks and feels just like a natural tooth.
Dr. McKenzie was the first dentist to introduce metal-free implants to Georgia, and remains at the forefront of dental technologies. For your healthiest and most dazzling smile, call our friendly and professional dental team at 404-900-5175 for a comprehensive consultation with Dr. McKenzie.
Teeth whitening options
Your smile is a work of art and a precious gift to those around you. Warm. Loving. Confidence-inspiring. Dazzling.
At Dazzling Smiles in the heart of Buckhead, Atlanta, and serving communities in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, Dr. Michaela McKenzie understands how a healthy, beautiful smile can enrich your life. With a background and family history in art, Dr. McKenzie blends aesthetics with biological dentistry for your optimal oral health and the smile of your dreams. Our professional dental team focuses on education, prevention, general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, using only the safest materials and procedures.
Sometimes, just brightening your teeth can deliver dramatic results and give your smile a boost. That’s why we offer the Philips Zoom! whitening technology in our office. In as little as 60 minutes, your brilliant smile can become up to eight shades whiter. The Zoom! whitening system is one of the most requested, effective, and trusted teeth whitening procedures.
For special occasions or just anytime you desire a smile enhancement, Zoom! is a comfortable, long-lasting, and affordable treatment. After a comprehensive consultation with Dr. McKenzie to ensure that you are a candidate for Zoom! whitening, you can relax in our spa-like, boutique environment for your procedure. If you have concerns about sensitivity, Dr. McKenzie will adjust your treatment for your ultimate comfort.
If you prefer to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, we also offer take-home trays that are custom-crafted from an impression of your teeth for proper fit and effective results. Whether you use the trays for touch-ups or for more gradual whitening, the professional grade whitening agent can remove discoloration and staining, leaving you looking younger and happier.
If you want to invest in your healthiest smile, Dr. McKenzie and our gentle, talented team are here to serve you with personal and attentive care.