The importance of safely removing (mercury) amalgam "silver" fillings
By way of introduction, here are three examples of what can or cannot happen when removing amalgam fillings without implementing special protection measures...
I had my own 12+ amalgam fillings removed from my "silver-studded" mouth without any special protective protocol being followed and luckily, without experiencing any noticeable untoward effects in the aftermath1. One reason may have been that I have followed a healthy diet and low-toxin lifestyle since I read about and adopted vegetarianism at age 22.
Others such as eminent amalgam toxicity and chelation researcher and expert Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt nearly died of kidney failure several weeks after he had his fillings removed at a similar age as when I had the procedure done (age 27 - even at that time, Dr. Klinghardt already suffered from arthritis, possibly pointing to an innate constitutional weakness of his body). This alerted and sensitized him to the subject of heavy metal toxicity and detoxification which he has since made one of his specialties (compare for instance Dr. med. Dietrich Klinghardt M.D., Ph.D., On Effective Holistic Heavy Metal Detoxification).
Another dramatic story involves a 52 year old physician in good health. After having his mercury filling replaced, he immediately (within 2 weeks) became ill, developing idiopathic2 dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM). Without an emergency heart transplant, he wouldn't have survived. Interestingly, a heart afflicted with IDCM has 22,000x higher mercury levels than a heart suffering from cardiovascular disease.
An example of a less dramatic but still unpleasant consequence of amalgam removal is the person who reported that since taking out her amalgam filling, she developed serious pain in her jaw bone where the filling used to be, with the pain radiating into her head and back. Another report mentioned that "huge problems began only after she had her amalgam(s) removed and years of detoxification were required before she got better again".
Experiences such as Dr. Klinghardt's, the above-described IDCM case as well as others point to the importance of following a strict protection and chelation protocol when having one's amalgam fillings removed.
On safe procedures for removing amalgam fillings
There are a number of suggestions for reducing the extent of mercury exposure during amalgam removal. These include the use of a rubber dam, a vacuum machine to suck out air and mercury vapors, etc. Additionally nutritional advice is given, aiming at fortifying the entire body: excellent nutrition, the ingestion of certain herbs (cilantro, garlic, ramsons [wild garlic]) and natural supplements (for instance chlorella algae for binding mercury in the intestines, Loclo powder - described as a high quality fibre able to prevent toxins from being absorbed), vitamin C administered in high doses incl. intravenously, etc.
Since the subject of amalgam removal (as seen from Dr. Klinghardt's and the IDCM patient's above examples) is a very serious matter, please refer to detailed information on safe amalgam removal protocols as provided for instance by The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT, see Links) aiming at protecting both patient and dental staff3, as well as other sources with in-depth experience in the matter you feel you can trust.
Be aware: incompetent alternative and/or holistic dentists can do more harm than good
As will be apparent from the foregoing, with amalgam removal and other oral detox measures that may require the assistance of a dentist, "discernment" and due diligence in choosing a responsible practitioner who closely follows the best known standards of practice is paramount. Also compare Beware of self-proclaimed alternative/holistic dentists.
If you can't afford a qualified (or any) dentist...
As you can see from the above, it seems to be better to keep one's amalgam fillings rather than having them incompetently removed... In that case particularly, I would suggest you strive to optimise your health (nutrition, lifestyle etc.) so your body is optimally supported in its continual detoxification efforts (see Nutrition as well as the upcoming page "Tips what to do when amalgam fillings and root-canaled teeth have to remain in your mouth").
3 For example, among other things the IAOMT protocol prescribes safety measures such as the use of a rubber dam, air supply via the nasal passages, use of a low-speed drill with constant water supply via the drill head; if available, a highly efficient room exhaust with carbon filter, etc. It also advises (to be ingested directly after amalgam removal) the intake of four grams of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and two grams of ginger and turmeric each, together with two aspirin tablets (or white willow) and eight ounces of soy milk, as well as preparing one's body by taking two grams of chlorella per meal, starting the night or morning before the amalgam removal session.