Safe Amalgam Removal
What are amalgam fillings?
Dental amalgam is a dental filling material, used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. Dental amalgam is commonly used, as it is a more cost-effective option than white or resin-based fillings and are often more durable. Dental amalgam is comprised of a mixture of metals including liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin and copper.
Potential risk of dental amalgam
Dental amalgam contains elemental mercury. It releases low levels of mercury in the form of a vapour that can potentially be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High levels of mercury vapour exposure can be associated with adverse effects in the brain and kidneys. Dental amalgam, however releases only low levels of mercury vapour and it is considered to be safe for adults and children above the age of six. The developing neurological systems in foetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapour.
Safe removal of amalgam
Dentists often remove amalgam fillings for many reasons, such as containing potential noxious mercury. They are aesthetically unappealing and can corrode or leak over time. Practitioners should abide by certain protocols when removing amalgam from the mouth. At Tewantin Dental, we ensure patients undergo safe mercury amalgam removal. We ensure our patient's and the environment's safety by:
We ensure the safety of our patients and the environment by:
- using tungsten carbide burs to remove amalgam, which minimises any heat generated, helps to reduce vapours released and shortens the length of the procedure.
- a rubber dam is used to prevent inhalation and ingestion of harmful debris during the removal process.
- high strength evacuation avoids mercury recirculation and inhalation.
- the mercury is disposed of in an environmentally conscious way.