A CT scan has shown I have a small speck of amalgum in my maxillary sinus:
"At the junction of the palatal aspect of the left maxillary alveolus and the medial wall of the left maxillary sinus, there is a speck of high density which may represent a focus of retained amalgum. There is a small amalgum tattoo which lies within the medial wall of the left maxillary sinus."

Ive been suffering from headaches since I had some upper left molars extracted, when it seems some the filling spilled.

Im diagnosed allergic to dust and to gold. Ive had metal and plastic fillings before.

My question is about whether gold is ever used in any part of metal amalgum production in any way whatsover? Could it for example be used as a small component in the metal to strengthen it? Or in the lining? Or any other possible way, which might then explain why I suffer headahces, which no other dental experts or neurologists or ENT doctors have been able to understand?


Dear Val, thanks for your question which I am answering from the question pool.

Firstly, let me express my empathy with your plight. Let me start with giving you the info as reported about amalgam..."Based on this evidence, FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above... The amount of mercury measured in the bodies of people with dental amalgam fillings is well below levels associated with adverse health effects...
FDA concludes that the existing data support a finding that infants are not at risk for adverse health effects from the breast milk of women exposed to mercury vapor from dental amalgam." This is an age-old controversial issue that will probably never see the schools of thought ever reaching consensus.  This, sadly, leaves individuals such as yourself, with many unclarrified and unanswered question.  But before we slander the reputation of amalgam, lets bare a few things in mind... Amalgam is essentially an alloy mix varying quantities of powdered silver, copper, tin, zinc and of course mercury. The use of amalgam goes back 150 years and despite the modern advancement in filling materials, seeing numerous tooth-colored restorative materials take to the fore, the longevity, durability, cost effectivity and ease of placement of amalgam is responsible for much of the advancements that we see today. I do not think its fair to now blacken the reputation of a material just purely because dental science has found better and more biological acceptable alternatives to amalgam. Bare in mind that million of amalgam fillings have been placed worldwide, most with great success. It would not be remarkable to me to discover that a small percentage of these fillings experienced some difficulties, as this could account for inter-personal differences of patients and variations in handling/placement by the dentist.

Given the trend to move to metal-free, more aesthetically pleasing restorations today, I do not anticipate too much additional research into the issue of amalgam. And not that your issues are not important, because you are far from the only patient who has reported these findings - sad but true.  The amalgam tattoo poses very little threat to your general health and its probably better to leave this in-situ.  The reason for this, is that the bonds which hold the mercury ions together in the amalgam are the strongest, which means that it is highly unlikely, and virtually impossible, for the mercury ions to dissociate from the amalgam and certainly not from each other, giving them a good degree of stability within the alloy mix. Secondly, the gold used for restorations is a very biologically inert substance, which may vary from 33% to 85% and while it is unlikely that the gold be the causative agent for your systemic symptoms, nothing in my mind can be excluded until fully considered, evaluated and eliminated one by one until one reached the eventual diagnosis and offending substance. That is, of course, if your symptoms have their roots in the mouth at all. Just to confirm, gold does not form part of teh amalgam mix, so already that narrows things down a bit.

If I was you, I would get an appointment with a neurologist as well as a specialist prosthodontist, preferably one who specializes in dental materials. It might be of greater use if you contact one of the dental schools near you and discuss your situation with one of the professors to get some more insight and advise. I hope this helps and I wish you all the best in resolving this matter speedily, take care.

Kind regards
Dr Craig Peck


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Dr Craig W Peck ( B.Med.Sc., B.Ch.D., Clin. Botox, Cosmet. Derm.)


I am a General Dental Practitioner, with special interests in Cosmetic Dentistry & facial aesthetics and Periodontology, placing a strong emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of a healthy periodontium (the support structure of the tooth) before cosmetic options are considered. I uphold all principles of prevention above interventional treatment and try as far as possible, to remain conservative in my approach. I believe in detailed, open and honest patient discussion, establishing what the patients expectations are and what the reality is of achieving this and involving the patient at every level of the treatment. I have strong principles on ethical treatment and appropriate patient management. I have chosen to treat and rehabilitate many nervous and phobic patients, who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to take part in the very important task of even a routine check-up. I will accept questions relating to general and cosmetic dentistry (in conjunction with the use of facial cosmetic procedures) and dental fears/phobias. I will be more than willing to answer any academic questions in dentistry, biology, physiology, psychology and health sciences in general. As most dentists will tell you, there is often not only one way of dealing with a dental issue - so very often, there is no precise right and wrong way of approaching the problem. All clinicians vary when it comes to treatments and what works best in their hands is often the treatment that is advised. Be understanding of this and bear in mind that nothing lasts forever! Patients are happy to accept only a one-years warrantee when buying a new car, but seem to expect that dental work is going to last them their lifetime.


I have worked for many years in the UK and RSA as a general dental practitioner - within the NHS, private practice and the government dental health services. I am certificated for the administration of Botox and Dermal Fillers for facial lines and wrinkles as I have attended further courses in minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures. I started seeing an increasing number of patients who presented with severe to moderate dental fears, even with full-blown phobias, so I started with the slow and patient task of tackling this problem and have successfully rehabilitated many patients. The key is good, effective, concise and understandable communication, shifting control from the dentist to the patient in order to slowly, but confidently, regain their trust back in dentistry, thereby giving them the feeling of achievement and this self-empowerment which drives them to the next level of treatment.

Academy of General Dentistry. American Dental Education Association. IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine). Professional Speakers, Writers and Managements Consultants in Dentistry. The British Dental Association. UK Aesthetics Group. ARC - Aesthetic Professionals. Botox. Aesthetics & Beauty. American Association for Dental Research. FDI - World Dental Federation. SOURCE1uk. World Dental Hygiene Forum. ProDentalCPD. Public Health Dentistry. Dentist Network. LinkedIn. Who's Who of South Africa.

B.Med.Sc. Degree (Medical Physiology and Medical Virology; Physiology Cum Laude; Stell 1994). B.Ch.D. Degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Clinical Dentistry Cum Laude; Stell 1997). CPR and CPR-Advanced Courses (2000/2001; UK). Clinical Botox (UK, 2001). Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox and Dermal Fillers; RSA 2011).

Awards and Honors
Placed on the Dean's List at University for academic achievement (1994). Highest achievement in the subject Dental Materials. Medal from 3M and the Radiology Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Dental Radiology and Imaging. Medal from The Periodontal Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Periodontology. Highest achievement for Oral Medicine. Highest achievement in Oral Pathology. Received the DASA (Dental Ass. of South Africa) Gold Medal for highest achieving dental student across the 5 1/2 years of the Degree. Passed the subject, Clinical Dentistry with distinction in final year.

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