If you are looking to have your silver mercury amalgam fillings removed, it’s vital you choose an experienced and trustworthy dentist. Mercury amalgam removal is a potentially dangerous process and there are important protocols a dentist must follow to keep you safe. West Hollywood Holistic and Cosmetic Dental Care in West Hollywood, CA has the experience and know-how to safely remove your mercury amalgam fillings.
Types of Fillings
When you have a cavity, a dentist will fill it using one of several types of filling material. If you have a filling, it is likely one of the following types.
Amalgam fillings are one of the most common types of filling. They are a popular choice because they are extremely strong, making them especially well-suited for the molars. Amalgam means mixture or blend and, in this case, it’s a blend of metallic elements. These fillings are usually silver or gold in color so, depending on the location in your mouth, they may be visible when you smile or talk. While amalgam fillings have long been popular, their popularity has seen a significant decline of late due the potential health risks of these fillings which contain mercury.
These fillings are made from glass or quartz resin. This type of filling is also extremely common. They are good choices because they are quite strong and they can be made to match the color of your tooth.
A ceramic filling is generally made of porcelain, making it an ideal color. They are also less likely to show stains over time. These fillings tend to be expensive.
Why Consider Filling Removal?
The reason we put in a filling is obvious. It’s a necessary step when you have a cavity in order to prevent further decay and pain. There are a few reasons you might want to have a filling removed and replaced.
Cosmetic Filling Removal
Some people want to have their silver or gold fillings removed for purely cosmetic reasons. By removing the amalgam filling and replacing it with composite or ceramic, these individuals can feel more confident in their smiles.
Mercury Amalgam Filling Removal for Safety Reasons
There is much debate over this but many believe amalgam fillings are dangerous to our health. This is because of the fact that amalgam fillings almost always contain liquid mercury. Mercury exposure can be extremely dangerous and it can cause significant damage to the kidneys and brain. The FDA has classified mercury amalgam fillings as a moderate risk. For this reason, many people are interested in having their silver mercury amalgam fillings removed.
Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal in West Hollywood CA
The challenge with mercury amalgam filling removal is that removing the filling, in theory, creates more risk than keeping the filling in place. When a filling is removed, mercury vapor is released. If inhaled or ingested, this can be toxic. It is, however, quite possible to remove mercury amalgam fillings safely. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has a safe amalgam removal protocol. Our West Hollywood cosmetic dentist has extensive practice with this protocol and knows how to keep you safe while removing your silver mercury amalgam fillings.
The IAOMT Safe Amalgam Removal Protocol
It is very important to note that even when following the safety protocol, filling removal might not be advised for all patients. For acutely or chronically ill patients, we must have approval from a medical doctor. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should not proceed with amalgam filling removal.
The room where mercury amalgam filling removal is done must have a high-volume air filtration system. Ideally, there will be open windows to reduce the concentration of mercury vapor in the air. The patient, dentist, and anyone else in the room should wear protective gowns and covers. The patient should also have a full head/face/neck barrier.
Special Technique and Tools
Before beginning the procedure, the patient will be given a slurry of charcoal, chlorella, or similar adsorbent to rinse and swallow. This will help minimize the amount of mercury vapor accidentally ingested by absorbing it. External air or oxygen delivered via a nasal mask is necessary to prevent the patient from inhaling any mercury vapor. A dental dam will be inserted into the patient’s mouth. A saliva ejector should be placed under the dental dam to further reduce mercury exposure.
The dentist will use a high-speed evacuation device to capture mercury discharges. Rather than pulverizing, the dentist will remove the filling in large chunks. After the filling is removed, the patient’s mouth will be thoroughly flushed with water. Then, another slurry of charcoal, chlorella or similar adsorbent should be used.
Your dentist will need to follow federal, state, and local regulations for the cleanup and disposing of the mercury amalgam fillings. There are several steps the dental team will need to take to ensure they are protected throughout the process. An experienced team understands exactly how to do this, following IAOMT protocol.
West Hollywood Mercury Amalgam Removal
If you are considering having your silver mercury amalgam fillings removed, it’s vital that you only speak with an experienced dentist who understands and has experience with the IAOMT Safe Amalgam Removal Protocol. You don’t need to look any further than the experienced team at West Hollywood Holistic and Cosmetic Dental Care in West Hollywood, CA. Make an appointment today to discuss your options for getting your fillings removed or undergoing a full mouth reconstruction.