Over the past few years there has been increasing concern about the use of amalgam fillings. While this material is hard wearing and cost-effective, it was originally developed many decades ago, when medical knowledge was less sophisticated.
Today there are far more modern materials that can be used to repair teeth in a way that is more biomimetic, meaning these materials work in harmony with your natural teeth and can preserve them far more effectively. We much prefer to take this holistic approach because it is healthier for your teeth.
Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metals but mostly consist of 50% mercury. This amalgam filling releases low levels of mercury in the form of a vapor that can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High levels of mercury vapor exposure are associated with adverse effects in the brain and the kidneys.
All types of fillings need renewing periodically but we do need to take extra precautions when removing amalgams. This is because mercury vapour can be released when amalgam fillings are taken out which is why we follow a strict protocol to make sure you will not inhale any vapours.
Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metals but mostly consist of 50% mercury.
Once the amalgam is removed we will make sure it is correctly disposed of so it will not harm the environment.
Removing Amalgam Fillings
For your comfort, we cover your clothing with protective and water-propelling barriers and will provide you with protective eyewear.
Your dentist isolates the tooth with the amalgam filling using a latex-free dental dam. This makes it easier to safely remove the filling material and prevents any amalgam particles from being swallowed. Using a dam reduces the amount of mercury vapour that could be inhaled through the mouth while continual suction (high volume evacuation) helps to enhance this effect.
While the filling is being removed, we make sure it is kept cool because this helps to reduce any mercury vapour released as the filling is taken out. Often the filling will be removed in larger chunks to reduce exposure even further.
Once all the filling material is removed, you can thoroughly rinse your mouth just to ensure no particles remain.
Using Medical Grade HEPA Filters to Keep You Safe
Bel Canto Dental is extremely well ventilated and the air in the surgery is continually cleaned using high quality IQAir HEPA filters which will remove any airborne particles and mercury vapours, limiting your exposure and the exposure of our staff.
By taking these precautions, we can safely remove and replace your amalgam fillings while preventing any mercury from entering your body or the environment.