Mercury Amalgam Removal


Filling Removal

Dr. Paige Woods and her team at Brighton Dental in San Diego believe only high-quality, durable, biocompatible materials should be used for any kind of medical application. The mouth is the portal to the body, making biocompatible dentistry especially important.

Patients who have had silver fillings in their mouth often wonder what the importance of replacing their silver fillings really is. Truth is, amalgam contains an element known as mercury, which is very toxic to humans. It is believed that amalgam fillings release trace amounts of mercury vapor during chewing, which are then inhaled or absorbed into the body leading to issues over time.

There is much controversy looking around the issue of whether or not amalgam fillings belong in the mouth, but no matter whose side you are on we know one thing to be true: it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Main reasons people have their silver, amalgam fillings replaced:

  • White, composite fillings are a more attractive appearance
  • White fillings do not put your health at risk

It used to be that people had their silver fillings replaced simply because they were not satisfied with the appearance of them. Now, people have them removed because of possible links between their amalgam fillings and disorders that have suddenly occurred in their life. Mercury toxicity is a global concern and is very hard to trace when certain issues arise such as autoimmune disorders.

Mercury free and mercury safe

These terms can be especially confusing for patients. You might think that mercury free and mercury safe have the same meaning, but they are distinctly different. We are proud to say that our practice is both.

  • Mercury free means that a dentist doesn’t use amalgam or other mercury products in new restorations
  • Mercury safe means that the dentist is trained in, and follows, a rigid protocol to prevent mercury exposure and environmental pollution when removing amalgam

Our amalgam removal protocol

The common technique for replacing a filling is often referred to as “drill and fill.” The dentist simply drills out the old filling and replaces it. Unfortunately, when the old filling is amalgam, that approach releases alarming amounts of mercury vapor and particulate matter. That is why Dr. Dalwani uses a stringent mercury safe protocol, which includes:

  • A breathing mask delivers a clean air supply and filters out the mercury
  • A rubber dam is used to isolate teeth from the rest of the mouth, so you don’t contact or swallow particles
  • Two specialized suction devices are used to collect larger pieces of mercury and direct the vapor straight to an air filter
  • Your body will be covered with lightweight, disposable drapes to keep any mercury from settling on your clothing or any exposed skin