Lawrence dentist uses mercury safe protocol for amalgam removalBy Dr. Les Miller
Due to the benefits of beautiful, biocompatible, metal free restorations, more patients than ever are requesting mercury-free dentistry – and more dentists are delivering just that. However, in the not too distant past, amalgam was the standard in the vast majority of dental offices, and few patients were aware of the issues. Therefore, many people currently have amalgam fillings that they don’t want. Drs. Les and Kelly Miller utilize the protocol developed by the IAOMT for the safe removal of mercury amalgam.
Common filling removalYou might not think that a dentist would need special training to remove a filling. It is a common procedure in any dental office. Fillings may fail after a time, or patients may want them updated for aesthetic or health reasons. Although it is true that any dentist can accomplish the task of getting the filling out of the tooth, the common technique is less than ideal.
The fastest and easiest way to remove a filling is to drill it out, and that is what usually happens. However, drilling has two undesirable, and potentially unsafe, side effects – heat and dust.
The mercury safe techniqueAlthough the amount and specific dangers are debatable, there is no question that amalgam emits mercury vapor. The process of vaporization is greatly affected by temperature and surface space. Just imagine a bowl of water. If it is heated, it will evaporate much faster, creating a large amount of steam. A bottle of water at the same temperature would also steam, but it would put much less moisture in the air due to the smaller surface area. A similar principle applies to amalgam fillings.
When a large particle is broken or cut into smaller ones, the surface size increases. Dust and fine particles, caused by drilling, are almost all surface, greatly increasing the potential vapor. Simultaneously, the temperature of the amalgam increases, due to the friction of drilling. There is also the potential of inhaling particulate matter, which the potential effects of have not been well studied.
The mercury safe protocol, which the doctors follow diligently, involves removing the filling in as large of chunks as possible, and minimizing the friction. The patient and all personnel in the room are protected from inhaling particulate matter, and the debris is carefully collected to minimize the chance of skin contact.
If you are considering having your amalgam fillings removed, call 888.993.1707, and schedule an appointment with Dr. Les or Kelly Miller.
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