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What does a patient FEEL and EXPERIENCE before, during and after the removal of MERCURY FILLINGS? A 2015 Norwegian study seeks to find out.



Removing mercury fillings can be a daunting task. There is a lot of decision-making involved: doing the research, weighing it against your own judgement, and calculating the costs. Patients seek to remove the mercury fillings for various reasons: health issues from mercury, recommendations by their doctors and aesthetics (dark teeth).

A 2015 Norwegian study distilled the themes of a patient’s experience before, during and after the removal of mercury fillings and it is listed as below:

* Something is not working: betrayed by the body.
* You are out there on your own.
* Not being sure of the importance of amalgam removal.
* The relief experienced after amalgam removal.
* To accept, to give up, or to continue the search.

Something is Not Working: Betrayed by the Body
“ The starting point for all participants was the experience of something not working inside their bodies. Some had struggled with health complaints from an early age, whereas others experienced onset of complaints as adults. The majority of the participants described the onset of complaints as gradual, but some pinpointed more distinct starting points for the health complaints they attributed to dental amalgam. Several of the participants already had—or went on to receive—other diagnoses explaining part of their complaints; nevertheless, they felt that something remained unexplained. Participants’ complaints differed in kind, number, and intensity. The following complaints were mentioned most often: pain in muscles and joints, headaches, memory problems, tiredness, gastrointestinal symptoms, and intraoral health complaints. For some, the discomfort and impairment were limited to a few distinct complaints; for others, it was the sum of the complaints—more than the separate complaints in themselves—that posed the main burden.
…Despite having families that gave them support and understanding, several described a profound feeling of sadness related to not being able to be the spouse/parent they wanted to be. Several also felt that their relationship with friends and colleagues suffered because of their complaints. They seldom had the energy to meet people socially, and when in pain, they had to pull themselves together to avoid responding more harshly than they wanted to in tense situations. All participants worked hard to ensure that they did not lash out and hurt the people around them, and most of the time they thought they succeeded with this.”

You are Out There on Your Own
“The majority of the participants in our sample said that they had been actively trying to find explanation for their complaints. Several were disappointed by how little the medical profession had to offer when it came to health complaints in the absence of corresponding objective findings.
…Participants had also made other changes in their lives, hoping to diminish their health complaints. Several had tried different diets, sometimes through trial-and-error, and other times on advice given at rehabilitation centers or by practitioners of alternative medicine. For most, the results were promising at first, but the beneficial changes did not last over time. Several participants, however, did continue to avoid or limit the intake of certain food types as they experienced this to be somewhat helpful. Most of the participants had also modified their work situation. Some had started working reduced hours, some had changed to jobs that were less physically taxing, and some had started saying “no” more often at work. One participant said that the questions the project’s physician had asked her at the pretreatment examination led her to take a closer look at the way she was living her life, and she had realized that she needed to make more room for herself in her own life.”

Not Being Sure of the Importance of Amalgam Removal
“The participants who had experienced changes for the better were somewhat hesitant when it came to identifying the amalgam removal as a direct cause for the changes. After they described the perceived changes in health complaints, they usually tried to sort out which changes they thought were caused by the amalgam removal and which were more likely to have been brought on by other changes in their lives.
…When it came to the general health complaints, all participants were quick to point out that both the initial complaints and the subsequent changes might have been influenced by changes in life situation, work conditions, and so forth. Several of the participants used phrases like “but, of course, this could also have been influenced by the stress caused by….”

The Relief Experienced After Amalgam Removal
“Participant (P): Well, I was very relieved that I could have them removed…. Because, at that time, I was very focused on what was causing me to be not as healthy as others, and this was something I wanted to try to (pause) that it might help me get better. So it was certainly a plus to get rid of it. At least I did not have those anymore, and I had kind of excluded something (laughs). It was a little bit like that.
P: You know, some (pause). There are many people with the same complaints that I have had who are talking about amalgam and such. So it is possible that if I still had those fillings left, I could have been constantly thinking “Yes, it really could be those fillings keeping me from feeling well.” But it is not like that anymore, is it?”

To Accept, To Give Up or To Continue The Search
“Despite feeling better, as reported by the majority of the participants, none of them had become symptom-free after the amalgam removal. They reacted to this in different ways. For some, there seemed to be a change in the urgency to seek answers. A few even thought that they were moving toward accepting their health complaints, or at least toward accepting that their complaints could never be fully explained.”