Safe Mercury Removal at Elevate Dental Wellness
Did you know that traditional amalgam (silver) fillings are composed of more than 50 percent mercury? After they’re placed, the fillings continually release elemental mercury vapor — the most toxic form of mercury.
At Elevate Dental Wellness, we focus on providing holistic dental care that takes every aspect of your health into account. That’s why Dr. Van Gorden and Dr. Steinbach offer safe mercury removal at our practice.
The Dangers of Mercury Fillings
Why is mercury so bad for your oral health? Dentists have been using silver amalgam to fill cavities since the beginning of dentistry, so why are things different now? Although mercury fillings have been a traditional way of protecting teeth from further decay, research has found them to be highly toxic.
The toxins in mercury can be a serious threat to your entire health, especially as it continues to sit inside your body. Mercury can increase your risk for various health complications such as allergies, autoimmune disorders, heart problems, depression, poisoning, and more.
How Mercury Affects You
The mercury vapor from an amalgam filling can travel into the lungs and circulatory system, affecting every tissue and organ in your body — including your brain. Mercury also plays a significant role in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease and can contribute to other chronic health issues. These may include:
- Heart problems
- Autoimmune disorders
Not every patient with silver fillings will experience the harsh negative effects of mercury poisoning — in fact, many never develop any complications. However, some people are unable to remove mercury from their systems.
Here at Elevate Dental Wellness, we value your safety above all else. Our holistic dentists ensure a safe mercury removal procedure for all involved. Understanding safe mercury removal is essential for the safety of the patient and the dentist that removes your amalgam fillings, as well as any staff members that assist them during the procedure. This is because they can be exposed to extremely high levels of mercury vapor if the removal process isn’t performed properly.
Removing Mercury Fillings Safely
Here at Elevate Dental Wellness, we’re proud to be a mercury-free, SMART-certified dental office. SMART stands for Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique, which is the recommended protocol for amalgam removal designated by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).
One of the challenges of having mercury fillings removed is preventing the patient from ingesting any mercury during the process. If this happens, there’s a risk of mercury poisoning. By strictly following these practices, Dr. Van Gorden and Dr. Steinbach are professionally trained to minimize mercury exposure as much as possible.
Before the procedure, a local anesthetic will be administered to ensure your experience is pain-free. Throughout the procedure, we’ll take precautions to ensure the safety of you and the staff involved, including using protective equipment. Your nose will be protected with a dental mask and you’ll be provided with pure oxygen via a tube in order to prevent breathing in the mercury vapor. A rubber dam will also be placed over your mouth in order to keep any mercury from going down your throat.
As an added precaution, charcoal and chlorella, which absorb mercury, are placed underneath the dam to reduce the risk of the mercury getting into your system. We keep drilling to an absolute minimum in order to reduce the release of mercury vapors and use a high-speed suction device in order to pull particles out of your mouth as the filling is being removed.
Once we remove your old filling, we can replace it with a composite filling. These restorations are made from a special tooth-colored resin and customized to blend in seamlessly with your smile. Best of all, composite fillings don’t contain any mercury, so you can rest easy knowing that your health is protected.
For most patients, we can place your composite filling in just one appointment, and you won’t have to worry about a lengthy or uncomfortable recovery.
Choosing a Mercury-Free Dentist
If you already have silver amalgam fillings, we’ll never encourage you to remove them unless we notice it’s causing harm to your health. When we use composite fillings and other dental materials, you’ll experience:
- A natural bond that strengthens your tooth
- Less of your natural tooth is drilled away
- Little to no postoperative discomfort and sensitivity
- Improved protection from further decay
- A natural-looking solution that blends beautifully with your smile
Frequently Asked Questions
Are amalgam fillings safe?
Amalgam, or silver, fillings have been used in dentistry for several decades as an effective treatment for cavities. However, amalgam fillings contain mercury and can release toxic vapor into your body on an ongoing basis. This can lead to a variety of health consequences ranging from heart problems to depression.
While some patients wear silver fillings without any complications, it’s better to be safe than sorry and get a composite filling.
What is SMART?
SMART stands for Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique. It’s the official protocol for removing mercury recommended by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). This technique includes extensive instructions and safety guidelines for removing amalgam fillings.
By following SMART guidelines, our dentists can remove old fillings while ensuring that the health of you and our staff is protected.
Why should I visit a mercury-free dentist?
By choosing a mercury-free dentist, you can protect yourself from the potentially harmful effects of mercury poisoning. Not to mention, you can enjoy the natural appearance and enhanced protection of composite, tooth-colored fillings.
Elevate Dental Wellness is a holistic, mercury-free practice. We take pride in offering a safe environment for all of our patients that prioritizes their health above all else.
Elevate Dental Wellness Cares
Dr. Van Gorden and Dr. Steinbach are dedicated to providing you with the safest treatments available, which is why we’ve removed mercury from our facility. To schedule a filling removal or learn more about our holistic dentistry services, give us a call at (970) 279-5647 and schedule a consultation today. We look forward to meeting you!