Removal And Replacement Of Amalgam Fillings
Dental tooth fillings are a restorative treatment, used to improve the appearance and functionality of teeth affected by damage or decay. Amalgam fillings, made of a combination of metals, have been used for many years because they are strong, durable and relatively inexpensive. However, approximately half of an amalgam filling is composed of mercury, a metal alloy used for strengthening. When the filling begins to deteriorate over time, this mercury can leak, either as vapor or particulates, putting the patient at increased risk of mercury exposure. When the fillings eventually require replacement, as most do over time, their removal can also expose patients to mercury.
Many dental organizations recommend against replacement of amalgam fillings that are in good condition since removing them may expose the patient to an increased amount of mercury vapor. Mercury-free dentists, however, believe that the removal and replacement of amalgam fillings can be performed safely and has many health benefits.
Strategies For Safe Removal Of Amalgams
Mercury-free dentists do not use dental filling materials that contain any amount of mercury. In addition, they are specialists in the safest methods of removing amalgam fillings. The following precautions are typically taken to protect patients during amalgam filling removal:
- Circulation of fresh air in the treatment room
- Patient draping to prevent skin contact
- Use of a saliva ejector and water spray
- Cutting away the filling in large pieces
- Patient rinsing with activated charcoal
These procedures are designed to prevent patient contact with the mercury in the fillings either through inhalation or skin contact. Having the patient rinse with activated charcoal or a similar substance ensures that any lingering traces of mercury are removed.
Restoration Of Fillings
Once amalgam fillings have been removed, a new restorative procedure using the Bioclear Method will be used to restore your tooth with a tooth colored filling material.