Safe Amalgam Filling Removal – San Antonio, TX

Creating Healthier
Smiles Without Metal

Man in green sweater smiling after safe amalgam filling removal in San Antonio

Known for their long lifespan and high durability, traditional amalgam fillings allow individuals to embrace restored smiles that were once plagued by cavities. While these benefits might seem harmless, they come at a cost – one that has negative effects on the body. At Orbis Dental Group, our team of doctors wants to remove the harmful mercury that makes up much of these amalgam fillings and instead, replace them with biocompatible, tooth-colored versions that are healthier for patients and the environment. Call our dental office to find out how you can take the first step toward a metal-free smile today with safe amalgam filling removal in San Antonio.

What Is an Amalgam Filling and Why Should It Be Replaced?

Close up of mouth with a metal filling on a lower tooth

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 causes 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 Filling Removal

Dentist shining a light into a patients mouth

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. At Orbis Dental Group, every team member is fully trained in the proper removal and disposal of amalgam fillings.

Here is how we approach this critical treatment process:

Keep Amalgam Fillings Cool During Removal

Illustrated tooth before and after removing amalgam filling

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.

Cut the Filling into Pieces

Dentist and assistant performing a dental treatment

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 upfront protects everyone from mercury contamination, which is our goal throughout the removal process.

Use an Evacuator

Dental patient wearing dental sunglasses while receiving treatment

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.

Isolate the Tooth

Close up of a decayed tooth with an old metal filling

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 Dental Group for Holistic Dentistry?

Young woman grinning outdoors

Drs. Lee and Hachem look 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 techniques. Our dentists 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.