Amalgam restorations are becoming unpopular owing to the high mercury content. As such, it is not uncommon for both individuals and doctors to request for safe mercury filling removal.
Now that you know the harm that mercury filling is causing you and plan to have your amalgam filling removal done, ensure that you get it done by a mercury-safe dentist. A safe replacement procedure for the silver mercury filling guarantees you minimal absorption of the heavy metal if any, without compromising your health.
Guidelines For Safe Removal Of Mercury Amalgam/Silver Fillings
Safe removal of amalgam fillings is crucial. Here are guidelines that need to be followed during the process, to ensure minimal intoxication:
1. Using Activated Charcoal
Evidence suggests that activated charcoal that is taken at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to removing amalgam fillings helps to bind smaller particles of mercury that are swallowed, thus rendering them harmless as they are passed out as feces.
Even then, this is optional as very little inorganic or elemental mercury is usually absorbed via the intestines.
2. Ensure The Fillings Are Cool During Removal
A lot of heat is generated while drilling out an amalgam filling. This is may significantly increase mercury release either in the form of amalgam particles or vapor. Thus, it is recommended that the filling be cooled with both air and water during drilling to minimize the amount of mercury vapor that is released.
3. Slicing The Amalgam To Chunks
Here, there is less drilling with the dentist drilling just enough to allow cutting the filling to chunks. These chunks are then removed by suction or using a hand instrument. This process is also known as chunking. Cooling and chunking are very important hence must be embraced by every mercury-safe dentist.
4. Using A High Volume Evacuator
The use of a powerful suction system is vital when minimizing exposure to amalgam particles and mercury vapor. Even then, the tip of the evacuator should be maintained within ½ inch of the filling during the amalgam filling removal process in order to capture more of the mercury particles and vapor released.
5. Provision Of Alternative Air Sources
Providing the patient with an alternative air source to the breather during the safe removal of amalgam fillings is important to ensure they are protected. Thus, you will do well to ensure they use it or ask them what other option they are using. Generally, the patient will be advised to concentrate on breathing through the nose.
6. Use A Rubber Dam
A rubber dam is instrumental in isolating those teeth that are being worked on as well as offer protection so that you do not breathe mercury vapor through your mouth.
Even then, it is important to ensure the rubber dam is made of material that mercury vapor cannot pass through. Regardless of whether there is a rubber dam or not, it is important to concentrate on breathing through the nose during the procedure.
7. Removing Gloves And Cleaning The Patient’s Mouth
When the filling has been removed and a replacement done, it is important that the dentist—together with the assistant—remove the gloves they had on during the procedure as well as the rubber dam before rinsing the patient’s mouth thoroughly and vacuuming it for at least 15 seconds.
This process is helpful in removing residual mercury vapor and amalgam particles from the mouth. The patient may also gargle some water and rinse out their mouth, carefully ensuring that they do not swallow any watery residue during the process.
8. Clean Up Immediately
With the completion of the procedure, the dentist and dental assistant need to dispose the protective covering used by the patient and clean their neck and face. This must be done routinely. Remember, nobody wants to take mercury home with them.
9. Use An Additional Air Purification
An extra air filtering system may be used. This is usually placed in the patient’s mouth and is mainly advocated for by mercury-safe dentists as an addition to removing amalgam fillings safely. Furthermore, it is considered more important to the dentist and dentist assistant than it is to the patient.
10. Filtering Air In The Operatory
There are multiple effective ways of purifying air within the dental office. It is paramount for mercury-safe dental offices to purify air in the area where they are working. This is more important to the staff than the patient, especially if they are removing several fillings during the day.
What Happens After Amalgam Removal
A study conducted as a follow-up to amalgam-filling removal indicated that there was a significant decrease in intra-oral as well as general health complaints. This is attributed to the fact that the tooth has been restored to a healthy state of not only form but also function.
Among the top outcomes recorded by patients after amalgam removal include the following:
- The metallic taste in the mouth is no longer felt
- Patients feel more energized
- Improved concentration and decision making
- Improved response to other treatments.
Overall, to obtain effective results after removal of mercury fillings, it is important to adopt an integrated approach with the help of a physician and health care team that will help you pay attention to diet, lifestyle and detoxification over a couple of months.
Shen Chao is part of Dr. Joshua Hong’s Smile Clinic. While working at the Smile Clinic, he has witnessed how dental implants can improve people’s smile and boost their self confidence. If you are interested in improving your smile or need a dental procedure, visit: www.joshuahongdds.com.