Amalgam (Mercury) Removal
Amalgam is an alloy of mercury with various metals used for dental fillings. It commonly consists of 50% mercury, ~22-32% silver, ~14% tin, ~8% copper and other trace metals. Mercury is a known Neurotoxin, even very small quantities can have an adverse affect on your health.
Safe amalgam removal is extremely important to our dental practice. As a dental office, we are required to safely store and send excess amalgam materials to a toxic waste facility yet it is permissible to place this material in your teeth.
We have not used amalgam filling materials in 33 years. We follow the IAOMT protocol for safe removal and proper disposal of amalgam fillings.
To replace amalgam fillings Dr. Edwards uses an aesthetically pleasing composite resin. The composite resin is a tooth colored filling material that results in your teeth looking natural. If a composite resin filling is not appropriate, an all-ceramic laboratory restoration will be fabricated.
Dr. Edwards is the Vice President of the IAOMT and follows their guidelines as described below:
- An amalgam separator must be properly installed, utilized, and maintained to collect mercury amalgam waste so that it is not released into the effluent from the dental office.
- Each room where mercury fillings are removed must have adequate filtration in place, which requires a high-volume air filtration system (such as an at source oral aerosol vacuum) capable of removing mercury vapor and amalgam particles generated during the removal of one or more mercury fillings.
- The patient will be given a slurry of chlorella to rinse with before the procedure
- Protective gowns and covers for the dentist, dental personnel, and the patient must be in place. All present in the room must be protected because substantial quantities of particles generated during the procedure will elude collection by suction devices. It has been demonstrated that these particles can be spread from the patient’s mouth to the hands, arms, face, chest and other parts of the dental worker’s and patient’s anatomy.
- Non-latex nitrile gloves must be utilized by the dentist and all dental personnel in the room.
- Face shields and hair/head coverings are to be utilized by the dentist and all dental personnel in the room.
- A properly-sealed, respiratory grade mask rated to capture mercury must be worn by the dentist and all dental personnel in the room.
- In order to protect the patient’s skin and clothing, a full body, impermeable barrier, as well as a full head/face/neck barrier under/around the dam, need to be utilized.
- Oxygen delivered via a nasal mask for the patient also needs to be utilized to assure the patient does not inhale any mercury vapor or amalgam particulate during the procedure.
- A dental dam that is made with non-latex nitrile material must be placed and properly sealed in the patient’s mouth.
- A saliva ejector must be placed under the dental dam to reduce mercury exposure to the patient.During amalgam filling removal, the dentist must utilize an at source oral aerosol vacuum in close proximity to the operating field.
- During amalgam filling removal, the dentist must utilize an at source oral aerosol vacuum in close proximity to the operating field.
- Copious amounts of water to reduce heat and a conventional high speed evacuation device to capture mercury discharges are required to reduce ambient mercury levels.
- The amalgam needs to be sectioned into chunks and removed in as large of pieces as possible, using a small diameter carbide drill.
- Once the removal process is complete, the patient’s mouth should be thoroughly flushed with water and then rinsed out with a slurry of chlorella.
- Dentists must comply with federal, state, and local regulations addressing the proper handling, cleaning, and/or disposal of mercury-contaminated components, clothing, equipment, surfaces of the room, and flooring in the dental office.
- During the opening and maintenance of suction traps in operatories or on the main suction unit, dental staff should utilize the appropriate personal protection equipment described above.
It is important to note that as a safety precaution, the IAOMT does not recommend amalgam filling removal for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding and that the IAOMT does not recommend that dental personnel who are pregnant or breast-feeding conduct work that disrupts amalgam fillings (including their removal).
For more information regarding the protocol on safely removing amalgam, visit the IAOMT website.
Are you ready to have your mercury amalgam fillings removed?
Here’s a questionnaire to help you decide. Medical Symptoms Questionnaire