Because of the growing awareness of problems with silver-mercury amalgam fillings leaching mercury vapor into the teeth, gums, into the stomach, intestines, kidneys and even the brain, there are many dentists who offer silver-mercury amalgam removal. However, many don’t know about or follow the safe removal protocols recommended by the International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology as I do. If the safety protocol is NOT followed and removal is done incorrectly, exposure to toxic mercury vapor during removal can endanger the patient, dentist and the staff.
Mercury is a toxic, unstable metal that is liquid at room temperature and naturally vaporizes like any liquid when heated. Therefore extreme caution must be taken when silver-mercury amalgam fillings are removed. Each individual patient may require a customized protocol. But the basic protocol I apply is a combination of dental dam, charcoal clay, as well 2 high-volume suctions, vitamin C drip, ionizing mercury vapor air filtration, and a nasal oxygen mask to help protect each of my patients. In addition I use special masks for myself and my staff. After the removal procedure I use trigger point injections along the lymphatic drainage points to help my patients clear out any toxins.
For more information on the dangers of mercury amalgam fillings, see this great article.
If you’re wondering why the American Dental Association continues to say that silver-mercury amalgam dental fillings are safe, please note that the ADA is a trade organization that owns the patent on silver-mercury amalgam fillings, which is considered a medical device. Many people assume that the ADA is a government agency because it sounds similar to the FDA or USDA; however, it is not. It is a commercial trade organization that markets a medical device.
For more information on the American Dental Association, its patent on amalgam fillings, and its influence on the FDA, read this excellent article.
Also see the Dr. Oz Show in the EDUCATION section of this website entitled “Toxic Teeth: Are Your Mercury Fillings Making You Sick?”
Below I’ve provided a list of guidelines I follow during mercury amalgam removal:
PREPARING THE PATIENT
- Advise patient to get the right amount of rest, nutritional, and physical support in days leading up to procedure
- Create a warm, comfortable, relaxed environment during the procedure to decrease emotional stress
- Pre-treatment rinse and oral detox (repeated after removal)
PROTECTING THE PATIENT AND STAFF FROM MERCURY VAPOR
- Full eye protection for patients and practitioners
- Surround-type or 2 high-volume suctions for patient
- Ionizing and mercury vapor air filtration systems in use ( We use DentalAirVac for safe capture of vapor)
- Provide an oxygen mask with one-way valve and vacuum with nasal mask to patient (or similar source of oxygen), and use non-rebreather gas masks for practitioners
MERCURY REMOVAL PROCESS
- Isolate area of patient’s mouth being treated with a proper-fitted, non-latex dental dam
- Use new diamond cutting burr allowing silver amalgams to be sectioned into large chunks; follow with thorough rinse
- Continuous application of cool water sprayed at handpiece burr and filling junction
- Saliva ejector used under the dental dam for removal of both saliva and excess mercury vapor
MERCURY WASTE COLLECTION
- Use a central mercury separator to collect 99% of metal before it is entered into waste water (Dentistry is unregulated by the state in this regard, so we regulate ourselves)