Contemporary Dentistry

Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal

If you are considering having your amalgam fillings removed, it’s important to make sure that you have them removed in a safe manner. This protects you, your dentist, their staff, other dental patients, and the environment from the hazards of mercury exposure. Although most dentists will offer to remove your mercury amalgam fillings, few will do it safely.

Rochester, NY holistic dentist Dr. Arlene Messer is a member of the International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), and she follows their science-based guidelines for the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART). To schedule the safe removal of your mercury amalgam fillings at Contemporary Dentistry, please call (585) 244-3337 today.

iaomt logoSMART logo

Why Safe Amalgam Removal Matters

If you are going to remove your metal amalgam fillings, it’s important to make sure it’s done safely. Otherwise, you are just trading a long, slow exposure to mercury for a potentially much more toxic acute amalgam exposure.

When metal amalgam fillings are being removed, more of the mercury can be released as vapor and some of the filling may break off as fine particles that can be ingested or inhaled. Mercury vapor that isn’t inhaled by you can enter the air and potentially be inhaled by your dentist, their staff, or other patients.

And if mercury isn’t properly handled during removal, it can enter the water supply. In the past, metal amalgam was a major source of mercury in rivers and lakes.

How SMART Works

There are many important steps in the SMART process.

Environmental Safeguards

Equipment should be installed to reduce contamination in the dental office and the environment. An amalgam separator should be installed to prevent the spread of mercury via the water lines. Every room where mercury is removed should have a high-volume air filtration system to capture particles from the air.

Open windows can also help reduce the concentration of mercury in the office.

Protecting You

Before filling removal, you should rinse with or swallow an adsorbent like charcoal or chlorella to help capture mercury in your mouth or digestive tract.

You will receive oxygen through the nose during removal to allow you to breathe without inhaling particles and vapor from the mouth.

A dental dam is used to protect you from mercury particles. You’ll be covered from the knee to the top of your head, with as little exposed surface as possible during amalgam removal.

Saliva ejectors and vacuum apparatuses are used to remove the mercury from your mouth. Water is used to cool the filling so that less mercury evaporates.

The filling is removed in as few large pieces as possible to reduce the evaporation of mercury.

Once your filling is removed, your mouth will be rinsed thoroughly and treated with an adsorbent.

Protecting Our Staff

During mercury removal, we will use appropriate safety equipment to reduce our mercury exposure. Do not be surprised. We will wear protective gowns and covers for all the dental personnel in the room. This includes face shields and head covering as well as gloves. We will be wearing facial filtration masks to make sure we don’t inhale mercury, either.

Metal Amalgam Removal Done Right

If you want to remove your metal amalgam fillings, it’s important to make sure that it’s done as safely as possible for you, others around you, and the environment. We always follow best practices to make sure that the removal of your metal amalgam is done right.

To learn more about the safe removal of metal amalgam fillings in Rochester, NY, please call (585) 244-3337 today for an appointment at Contemporary Dentistry.