Sullivan Dental Center

Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings

Filling removal | Sullivan Dental Center St. Francisville LA

“I have been in practice for over a decade and have been asked numerous times about mercury containing amalgam fillings and their impact on someone’s general health. Often missed in this question, is not whether the placement of amalgam fillings could affect one’s health but is the removal of the filling creating a greater concern of toxicity?” – Dr. Clay Couvillon

What are Amalgam fillings?

Dental amalgam is a dental filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. It has been used for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients around the world.

are Silver fillings safe?

Many people are unaware that the “silver” fillings or the amalgam fillings they have, contain 50% mercury. Mercury is a serious neurotoxin. There are no safe levels for mercury in the human body, and mercury vapors are released from the amalgam fillings for the life of the filling.

The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) is an organization of dentists that advocate the eradications of amalgam fillings and have also derived the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART). This technique was developed to prevent additional mercury exposure in patients.

Dr. Clay Couvillon was the first dentist in Louisiana to be certified in the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique. Our patients’ overall health and well-being is our number one priority and it is why we offer the safe removal of amalgam fillings.

How Does Mercury Enter The Body?

Exposure to the dangers of mercury occurs in a number of ways. The fillings give off a certain amount of vapor and small particles, which can increase with excessive gum chewing, teeth grinding or drinking of carbonated beverages. Both the vapor and the particulates may be inhaled.

Some studies have demonstrated that mercury levels in the body can increase as amalgams weaken, as well as during the replacement process when a rotating cutting tool known as a dental bur is used to chip away at the filling. Research indicates that, in addition to blood levels of mercury increasing during such procedures, urine levels of mercury can increase by as much as 50 percent and remain elevated for a month after exposure.

Symptoms Caused by Mercury Fillings

Symptoms caused by mercury fillings may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Widespread joint pain
  • Poor fine motor control
  • Skin Rashes
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Delayed reaction time
  • Decreased coordination
  • Tremors
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased mental concentration
  • Irritability
  • Reduced color vision

Amalgam Filling Removal Before & After

Removing Amalgam Fillings St. Francisville LA
Click to view more amalgam removal before and after photos.

Amalgam Filling Removal Patient Testimonials

“Dr. Couvillon & his staff did a wonderful job with my fillings! Good as new!” – Steph D.

“Two thumbs up for Dr. Clay. My fillings were done quick and easy. If I had more thumbs I’d give them all up!” – Cheri G.

“I knew I made the right choice by choosing Dr. Clay when he explained everything to me. Every question had an answer. My fillings were replaced perfectly and they look beautiful!” – Shirley P.

Metal Fillings Removal Process

The following technique helps protect the patient, as well as, the doctor and the dental assistant:

  1. Drilling out an amalgam filling creates heat, which in turn increases the release of mercury into the air. Keeping the fillings cool, using water and air, during the removal helps to reduce the amount of mercury vapor released from the filling.
  2. Mercury safe dentist, use chunking to remove amalgam fillings from the tooth. This involves less drilling and the dentist can get the amalgam filling out easily using a hand instrument or suction.
  3. A high-volume evacuator, or suction system will be used, during the entire removal process, to capture more of the mercury vapor and particles.
  4. Patients will be provided with an alternative air source, while their amalgam fillings are being removed. The patient will be provided with a nasal hood, in which he/she will breathe from an alternate source (compressed air from a tank, air from outside source, oxygen from a tank).
  5. A rubber dam is used to isolate the tooth or teeth being treated. The rubber dam protects the patient from breathing mercury vapor through the mouth.

mercury dental filling

Discover more about the “Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique.”

Schedule a consultation

If you would like to learn more information and plan to have your mercury amalgam fillings removed, contact Dr. Couvillon today! Call Sullivan Dental Center today at 225-635-4422 to schedule a consultation.

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