What is the difference between mercury free and safe dentistry in Lawrence?By Dr. Les Miller
As you may know, dental amalgam is the subject of great debate in dentistry today. This material, often referred to as silver, is made of a blend of metals. It contains about half Mercury, which is the most toxic nonradioactive element on Earth. These facts are not in dispute, although the stability of the product is.
Mercury freeAccording to the American Dental Association, amalgam fillings do emit some mercury vapor, but it does not exceed safe levels. In some countries, the use of amalgam has been banned or restricted. In the United States, many dental professionals continue to use amalgam and profess its safety. Others, such as Dr. Les Miller and Dr. Kelly Miller, of Lawrence, KS, have chosen to be cautious, discontinuing use of all mercury containing products.
This is known as mercury free dentistry, because nothing containing mercury is put in the patient's mouth. It is becoming more popular as public demand increases. Additionally, metal restorations are unsightly and unnecessary with the beautiful, strong porcelains and composites available today.
Mercury safeA growing number of patients are choosing to mercury free dentists for new dental work. However, many of them already have amalgam in their mouths. Some people want it replaced for aesthetic reasons, and others are concerned about the mercury controversy. Still others need to have their fillings replaced, due to tooth damage. This occurs because amalgam contracts and expands at a different rate than teeth, which can cause fractures.
Removal of amalgam fillings may sound like a healthy prospect, but that depends on what dentist you choose. When it is in your tooth, amalgam is considered stable. However, heat and friction release mercury vapor. The traditional method of grinding a filling out causes considerable amount of both. Additionally, there has been very little research into the potential hazards of particulate matter (dust) caused during removal.
The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has developed a protocol for removing amalgam without exposing the patient or dental team to vapors and particulate matters. Dentists such as Drs. Miller, who are trained in, and follow, this protocol are considered mercury safe dentists.
If you are looking for a dental team who takes your health just as seriously as you do, call (888) 993-1707 and schedule an appointment today.
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