Mercury Safe Dentistry at Lawrence Dental Solutions


As we learn more about the use of mercury in amalgam fillings, more and more dentists are finding alternative materials that are systemically compatible, leading their patients to levels of better oral health. Mercury composes approximately 50 percent of any amalgam filling, posing the risk of inhalation or ingestion to the patient. At Lawrence Dental Solutions, Dr. Les Miller has practiced mercury free dentistry since 1983, providing fillings and other restorations with safer materials. Being a mercury free practice, however, is something different than practicing mercury safe dentistry, which is now our focus.

Many patients who have lived with amalgam fillings are choosing to have them removed, for health reasons or because aging amalgam fillings have cracked and caused subsequent issues with the structure of a tooth or teeth. When removing amalgam fillings, according to the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), precautions should be taken to minimize not only the patient's exposure to mercury, but also to limit exposure to the dentist and staff.

When removing amalgam fillings, we utilize the specific protocol set forth by the IAOMT, and incorporate a mercury separator into the removal process. This extra step, although not a formal part of any protocol, prevents mercury in the fillings from entering into the environment through our water system as materials are washed away.

When replacing removed fillings or placing new ones, we want to ensure that the materials used are in line with the systemic conditions of each patient. We work to determine the most biocompatible material by conducting a Clifford Materials Reactivity Test, which allows us greater insight into the patient’s best options. In any case, our approach is to use non-toxic fillings that are free of mercury. Usually a patient is served quite well with tooth-colored fillings made of composite resin or porcelain. Using CEREC technology, we are able to produce tooth-colored, metal-free inlays and onlays for the replacement of amalgam fillings in a single visit.

There are no safe levels of mercury. If you are concerned over the toxic effects of existing mercury fillings, we have physicians to whom we can refer for consultation. The mouth is a portal to the entire body. Keeping it healthy enables you to enjoy better health. For more information on mercury, or to schedule your consultation, contact us today.

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