Safe Amalgam REmoval
Safe Amalgam Removal has increasingly been in the news lately. Although millions of people have had amalgam fillings over the years, many of these people have developed health problems linked to those fillings.
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What is an Amalgam Filling, and Why Should It Be Replaced?
Dental amalgam is a metal mixture containing liquid mercury and a combination of powdered silver, copper, and tin. It is nearly 50% mercury, which binds together the other materials. Unfortunately, over time the mercury can release vapors that lead to a form of mercury poisoning that leads to health issues such as headaches, anxiety, digestive problems, kidney disease, and some forms of cancer. Some people opt to have their old amalgam or silver fillings replaced to avoid the potential for health issues.
Understanding Safe Amalgam Removal
Removing and replacing an amalgam with a composite filling is not a simple process. You cannot simply pull out the old filling. You risk releasing large amounts of mercury vapor at once, which can contribute to more health problems if you do not follow proper removal protocols. Appropriate procedures must be followed to ensure the patient’s safety and the dental staff performing the amalgam removal. At Orbis Dental Group, every team member is fully trained in the proper removal and disposal of amalgam fillings.
Keeping Amalgam Fillings Cool During Removal
Drilling into a filling creates heat, which creates mercury vapor in an amalgam filling. Mercury vapor can be inhaled by the patient, the dentist, and the staff and is dangerous. To keep everyone safe and prevent the formation of mercury vapor, we use water and dry air to maintain a low temperature throughout the drilling process.
Cutting the Filling Into Pieces
Removing amalgam is safer if the filling is cut into pieces because less drilling is needed. While this requires a bit more work, it also releases less mercury vapor. Taking the time to do more work up front protects everyone from mercury contamination, which is our goal throughout the removal process.
Using an Evacuator
Once the amalgam filling is loosened, it must be removed quickly. An evacuator is a suction tool that quickly and efficiently sucks away all pieces of the filling and the accompanying mercury vapor. This high-volume evacuator reduces exposure to both the metal and the vapor. It eliminates the chance of any wayward particles getting caught in the oral cavity.
Isolating the Tooth
We use a rubber dam that fits in the mouth to isolate the tooth being treated. It covers the rest of the teeth and soft tissues while we remove the filling in the affected tooth to help protect the patient from mercury vapors. Used in conjunction with the evacuator and our other precautions, it makes removing an amalgam filling safe for patients and dental staff.
Why Choose Orbis for Holistic Dentistry Approach to Oral Care?
As holistic dentists, Drs. Lee and Hachemlook at the whole person, not just their teeth. They are versed in the effects of amalgam fillings on the long-term health of their patients. They are dedicated to removing amalgam fillings through safe and effective removal and replacement techniques. Our doctors and staff are all trained in proper removal and disposal techniques using the latest technologies and understand the importance of proper preparation and aftercare for your safety.
Call our office at Orbis Dental Group Phone Number (210) 496-1919 or use our online form to schedule an appointment to remove and replace your metal fillings safely.