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Fillings when pregnant. Any advice? Need to decide!

(24 Posts)
Byrnsie30 Sat 30-Apr-11 15:10:40

I am due to have 3 amalgam fillings and one white filling. I am 3-4 weeks pregnant. The dental nurse assured me it would be fine, that the risks of the amalgam are very minimal and that the aneasthetic is fine. However, I have done some research and the most common advice seems to be to avoid amalgam fillings 'til after the birth (because the mercury can cross the placenta if you ingest any)
I had wanted white ones anyway but the dentist convinced me (before I became PG) that the silver ones are stronger etc.
I am tempted to go for the apparently safer white fillings (I had an early miscarriage in Jan and don't want to risk anything)
Would love to hear back from anyone with opinions (especially dentists!)
Also, I live in an area where it's impossible to get NHS dentist (is there any way to get financial support/discounts durring PG when you go private?)

mamaesi Sat 30-Apr-11 16:48:08

i have had lots of dental work done while pregnant, both times! its fine as long as you dont do xrays or strong bleeching. i have a really great private dentist and he has three kids....he would never ill advise me.

i would get the non metal fillings anyway....they have amazing ceramic and my dentist does not even use the metal ones anymore, ever!

fatfingers Sat 30-Apr-11 18:43:01

My NHS dentist has just given me temporary fillings. She told me I couldn't have amalgam fillings until after birth but temporary fillings will just stop holes getting worse until then.

Grumpystiltskin Sat 30-Apr-11 20:32:44

Nonsense about no amalgam whilst pregnant. In fact, I would be more likely to refuse the white ones (some of which are banned in Canada). I am a dentist btw. You almost certainly will not ingest any mercury and if you do, it won't be the correct compound to cross the blood brain barrier in any case. Will go right through you.

oinkyoink Sat 30-Apr-11 20:53:29

Grumpystiltskin - I have swallowed part of a filling and I am 25 weeks pregnant. Do you think this is ok? Will it harm the baby? Thanks and sorry to hijack this thread, I had posted about this but only got one reply.

Zimbah Sat 30-Apr-11 20:54:14

I had two fillings in mid/late pregnancy (can't remember), I was worried about the mercury so I paid for the white ones. They didn't last and I had to have them replaced only a few months after I'd given birth!

Zimbah Sat 30-Apr-11 20:55:30

Just to add, I think the reason mine didn't last was because I was tooth grinding a lot at night (hence needing fillings in the first place - I managed to crack two back teeth), I had a mouth guard made but didn't wear it every night as it made me feel a bit sick. Maybe if I'd worn it every night the white fillings would have lasted.

Grumpystiltskin Sat 30-Apr-11 21:38:10

oinky I answered your other thread.

AppleyEverAfter Sat 30-Apr-11 22:01:29

My dentist told me to wait for the white fillings till after birth due to the mercury risk. Grumpy why is there such a difference in opinion among dentists? Has there been some new research recently or something?

Grumpystiltskin Sat 30-Apr-11 22:22:00

Weeeell, white fillings have no mercury in at all. None. Nil. So I can't imagine why that advice was dispensed to be honest.

AppleyEverAfter Sat 30-Apr-11 23:19:22

Hmmm...I feel a change in dentist coming on!

Byrnsie30 Sun 01-May-11 14:05:22

Thanks for the chat ladies, has allayed my fears some what! x

pootros Wed 28-Sep-11 22:13:42

I had a bit of a stress today. Had to take my 4m fully breastfed dd in with me to dentist, as had letter saying I needed to see them. Was asked " are you here for a filling? ", to which I replied, "yes, but do I need to have it now?". Answer came back - how long's a piece of string, and that I might get an abcess at some point.
( I'd seen her colleague for another preg related tooth prob who'd said he'd hold tight - but I didn't say this - stupid me)
So she started. Halfway thru - drills etc in my mouth, she says - "It's very far back. I need to use amalgam."
At the end she says - "does baby take the bottle? I suggest you avoid breastfeeding for a day or two. " and then asked me to come back for a checkup! ( would have been nice if this was the other way round...but I'm not one for telling people their jobs.)

Only at this point did I twig that amalgam = mercury = not great.
I drove home, worried, looked up on tinterweb and straight away found this: Dental mercury
Mercury from dental amalgam: looking beyond the average
Occup Environ Med 2005;62:352-353, that seemed to show that it takes 5 months before mercury levels come down after taking away a filling. So I called her up again re her advice to avoid BF for 1 day, and she said - "i glad you phoned, I forgot to ask if you were breastfeeding before doing this, come back and I'll take it out. "

So an hour later there I was, having the new mercury amalgam filling taken out and replaced with something else, without an assistant there, using a dental dam, no suction and no cold water irrigation. I swallowed loads.

Have I had 2 hits of mercury vapour? IS it a problem?
I've looked up FDA and breastfeeding network advice sheet, and toxbase. They all say that old dental amalgams per se don't affect baby via breastmilk. And avoid unecessary dental work while preggers or BF. But should new dental work with amalgam come with a warning to avoid BF for a day, as my dentist said? What evidence is advice that based on, does anyone know?

THanks for your advice. I have given old freezer EBM and formula for the last 3 feeds but am running out of EBM and really want to continue BF if no risk of harm to baby. Would really appreciate any advice.

pootros Wed 28-Sep-11 22:16:23

ps - sorry if that confused people - I'm not preggers, just BF and thought this might be a good thread to revive, hence posted here.
Also, I appreciate that we're almost out of the 24 hrs post work, but if mercury is so slow to drop then surely 1 day avoidance of BF wouldn't be enough?

pootros Thu 29-Sep-11 04:54:03


pootros Thu 29-Sep-11 22:16:06

just to finish off my involvement in this thread if anyone ever finds them in this sich:
NHS direct were really good for a basic question on BF and a drug. They used the breastfeeding network resource:

Dr Hale's team in Texas are amazing for the more complicated questions. . They have a helpline with brilliant people on the end of it.

Bottom line - don't have dental work in preg/ BF unless you need it!
Pre existing amalgams - no problems if you leave them be!

BeyondLimitsOfTheLivingDead Thu 29-Sep-11 23:17:17

I've been wondering about this... Dentist wouldnt do a filling in preg with DS as I was preg and not in any pain. I then BF DS (still am). Now I'm preg with DC2 and getting toothache.
Its 18m since I was supposed to have my filling.
I thought fillings were safe enough if needed, but now this thread has me concerned...?

pootros Fri 30-Sep-11 10:54:21

I think - having a mercury filling is safe if needed, but you want you can get them to use non mercury ones in preg & BF. ( don't know if this is poss on NHS)

Removal of pre - existing mercury filling is best avoided until after pregnancy / BF unless necessary to save your tooth / pain. there should be good precautions conditions to remove the filling.

I would ask the dentist but ask what are the alternatives and make sure you let them know you are preg / BF first !

Thefoxsbrush Fri 30-Sep-11 10:59:52

I'm a dental nurse and have worked in 4 different private/nhs practices.

The 12 dentists I've worked with would never put an amalgam filling in a pregnant woman due to mercury. They would either put a temp filling in until baby born or use a White one.

Grumpystiltskin Fri 30-Sep-11 11:52:45

White fillings have some chemicals in them that are banned in some countries throughout the world so thefoxsbrush they are not as "safe" as they are made out to be.

Hypersensitivity reactions to white fillings are very very common amongst dentists, excess mercury levels conversely are very rare. An amalgam filling, placed under rubber dam is safely done in pregnancy. Removal of fillings releases the most mercury. There are plenty of "holistic" dentists who will relieve you of thousands of pounds to remove good silver fillings and replace with white ones.

horribledinners Fri 30-Sep-11 11:58:19

on the up side, OP - dental care is free while pregnant and for a year after. I'd get your preg certificate first, then go flippin dental! grin Get your moneys worth, insist on the white fillings!

katypii Fri 30-Sep-11 13:08:28

I'm 19 weeks pregnant and was at the dentist for a filling earlier in the week. My dentist (NHS) said they would only fit white fillings when you are pregnant but that they wouldn't last as long as the metal ones so would need replacing at some point. She also asked me to lie on my side to avoid dizziness when i got up and has split my appointments so I don't have to lie in the chair for too long at one time.

AKP79 Fri 30-Sep-11 13:17:09

Hi, just to put my two pennies in... I had a horrendous experience at the dentist this week. They managed to persuade me to have filling without aesthetic as they'd advised I wasn't allowed due to pregnancy, but I needed the filling. The pain was horrendous and I passed out twice during the procedure.

Later that day I had a midwife appointment and explained what had happened to her. She hit the roof and said there is absolutely no reason why I couldn't have an injection and that the rumours I'd heard about amalgam fillings were absolute nonsense and that the world had gone crazy. She categorically said that both silver fillings and aesthetic were safe during pregnancy.

If I could of had my time again I would still have the filling and I would of insisted on an injection!

BeyondLimitsOfTheLivingDead Fri 30-Sep-11 13:55:13

My old dentist (now retired) never used anaesthetic for fillings! I was speechless and over the moon when I first visited a new one after he retired grin

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