What Are Biocompatible Dental Materials?October 2, 2023
Amalgam fillings, made from a mix of metals like silver, tin, copper, and mercury, have been a dental go-to for quite some time. However, worries about potential mercury exposure have prompted some people to think about getting rid of them. But here’s the thing: it’s essential to approach this with safe mercury removal procedures.
Let’s explore the reasons why you should consider saying goodbye to your amalgam fillings and, most importantly, explore how to do it safely to keep that mercury exposure in check.
Reasons to Consider the Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings
Mercury Exposure Concerns
Mercury, a toxic element, is an essential component of amalgam fillings. While regulatory agencies consider amalgam fillings safe for most individuals, concerns about mercury exposure persist. If you worry about mercury toxicity, exploring removal options is a valid consideration.
Some people may develop allergies or sensitivities to the metals in amalgam fillings, including mercury. Symptoms can range from mild skin irritations to more severe allergic reactions. In such cases, safe removal and replacement may be necessary.
The silver color of amalgam fillings can be unsightly, especially when they are visible in the mouth. Replacing amalgam fillings with tooth-colored alternatives can provide a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Over time, amalgam fillings can deteriorate, crack, or develop gaps between the filling and the tooth. This deterioration may lead to bacterial infiltration and potential tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups can help identify when it’s time for replacement.
Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings
When you decide it’s time to have your amalgam fillings removed, you should know that this process should be carried out by a qualified dentist experienced in safe mercury removal techniques. This is vital to prevent mercury exposure and ensure the safety of the patient and dental staff. The proper procedure includes the following key steps:
- Protective Gear: Dentists and their staff will wear the necessary personal protective equipment, including gloves, masks, and eyewear, to reduce the risk of mercury exposure.
- Rubber Dam: Your dentist will use a rubber dam to isolate the tooth or teeth undergoing the procedure. This prevents the ingestion or inhalation of mercury particles.
- Cutting into Chunks: The amalgam will be cut into chunks. This approach is preferred as it involves minimal drilling, with the dentist drilling just enough to cut the filling into manageable pieces that can be removed using suction.
- High-Volume Suction: Your dentist uses high-volume suction systems to capture and remove mercury vapor and debris during the removal process, reducing exposure risk.
- Water Spray: A continuous stream of water is directed at the filling during removal to keep the temperature low and minimize the release of mercury vapor.
- Proper Disposal: Amalgam waste, including particles and debris, is collected and disposed of according to strict environmental regulations to prevent contamination and ensure safe disposal.
Interested in Safe Mercury Removal?
Contact Integrative Dentistry of Chester County, your trusted partner for mercury-free dentistry and safe removal procedures. Our experienced team is dedicated to your dental health and safety. Schedule your appointment today and discover the difference!