Why Amalgam Removal Needs Safety Protocols
- Posted on: Feb 28 2018
Dental amalgam has been the most common material used to repair teeth since 1830. That is an exceedingly long time for a single treatment to be routinely used without refinement. As of late, more dentists are discovering that this restorative technique is antiquated. Change is long overdue, but progress is being made on a continual basis.
Sullivan Dental is proud to be at the forefront of this transition away from dental amalgam. Our association with the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has been a cornerstone of learning and skills development. Ultimately, our priority is to provide the highest standard of patient care. One way we do this is by using mercury-free dental fillings in restorative care. Another way is to go one step further and offer the safest developed protocol for amalgam removal.
What is amalgam?
Many patients know amalgam as a “silver filling.” These restorations do have a bit of silver in them, but they are a composition of that metal in addition to powdered copper and tin. Then there’s elemental mercury, which composes approximately 50% of the filling material by weight. The concern with dental amalgam is related to the dangers of toxic mercury. The acknowledgment of elemental mercury, which liquefies in certain conditions, as dangerous is not new. However, experts have deemed this metal “safe” for dental fillings due to the belief that the solidified metal would not change in varying oral conditions. Research has proven this theory wrong.
There are three ways in which mercury can get into the bloodstream. Certain vaccinations have contained mercury (some may still contain ethylmercury). Seafood is also a common source of mercury. Interestingly enough, one study suggests that the disposal of dental amalgam into the ocean has something to do with this. Finally, amalgam filling is a source of mercury exposure. From fillings, mercury escapes in vapor form as amalgam heats when we chew. These vapors can be inhaled, and they may also absorb into soft tissue.
An abundance of research data linking mercury exposure (and subsequent buildup in the body) to chronic headaches, memory impairment, insomnia, nervous system disorders, and other potentially serious health conditions has led to the decreased use of dental amalgam. This is a positive step. However, amalgam removal is also something that must be performed with safety in mind.
In our St. Francisville office, amalgam removal follows a strict protocol that minimizes mercury exposure. We would be happy to speak with you about our process and schedule an appointment in which you can break free from the cycle of mercury exposure. Call us today at 225-635-4422.
Posted in: Mercury-free Fillings