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Safe Mercury Removal

Here at Fremont Natural Dentistry, we think “silver” fillings are a poor choice for today’s dentistry. For one, they’re made mostly from mercury, not silver, and mercury is one of the most toxic natural elements on earth. It has no business being placed in the human body.

Safe Mercury Removal

Not Just Mercury-Free but Mercury-Safe

When a patient has a damaged or decayed tooth that needs to be restored, we use biocompatible tooth-colored composite resin or ceramic. These materials are extremely durable and safe for our patients.

But being mercury-free isn’t enough. Fremont Natural Dentistry is also mercury-safe. That means we follow strict safety protocols whenever removing old “silver” mercury amalgam fillings. This protects our patients, ourselves, and our planet from the deadly effects of this toxic heavy metal.

The procedures we follow align with the evidence-based SMART/Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique developed by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology:

What Does the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique Involve?

  • Amalgam separators are properly installed and maintained to collect mercury waste, keeping it from being released into the environment via wastewater.
  • High-volume air filters and aerosol vacuums are used in each room to remove mercury vapor and particulate that’s generated during the procedure.
  • Unless the patient declines or there are contraindications, the patient is given a slurry of charcoal, chlorella, or a similar adsorbent to rinse with and swallow before the procedure.
  • The patient is fully covered in protective gowns and drapes, including covering for the neck and head.
  • The dentist and team members likewise wear protective gowns, along with non-latex, nitrile gloves, face shields, and head coverings. They also wear properly sealed, respiratory grade masks rated to capture mercury or positive pressure, properly sealed masks providing air/oxygen.
  • To prevent nasal inhalation of mercury vapor or particulate, the patient wears a nasal mask or cannula through which oxygen is delivered.
  • A non-latex, nitrile dental dam is placed and properly sealed in the patient’s mouth. A saliva ejector is placed under the dam to further reduce mercury exposure.
  • An oral aerosol vacuum is placed close to the patient during the amalgam removal to capture mercury vapor and particulate.
  • The amalgam is sectioned into chunks with a small diameter carbide drill and removed in the largest pieces possible.
  • Great amounts of water are used to reduce heat. A conventional high-speed evacuation device is used to capture mercury discharges.
  • Once removal is complete, the patient rinses their mouth thoroughly, first with water, then with a slurry of charcoal, chlorella, or a similar adsorbent.
You can view the scientific references for these procedures here

Is Safe Mercury Removal for Everyone?

While taking this approach to minimizing mercury exposure is important for everyone, it’s a must for those who

  • Planning on becoming pregnant.
  • Suspect or know they’re allergic to mercury.
  • Have ever had adverse effects during or after previous amalgam removal.
  • Have a compromised immune system, allergies, or other health problems.
For safety’s sake, the IAOMT does NOT recommend amalgam removal for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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