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Why You Need to Visit a Mercury-Safe Dentist

June 2, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — drgreen @ 7:29 pm
senior man smiling while visiting his mercury-safe dentist

If you’re above a certain age, you may have had a cavity treated with a filling made from a mixture of several different metals. After all, amalgam fillings were the standard in dentistry for over a century. However, research has since shown that one of the metals these fillings contain is mercury. Even in small amounts, mercury can be toxic. That’s why it’s important to visit a mercury-safe dentist and have your amalgam fillings removed. Read on to learn why mercury-free dentistry is an absolute must!

Just How Dangerous Is Mercury?

Amalgam fillings only contain trace amounts of mercury, but any amount above nothing is still too much. Mercury actually has a similar toxicity level as lead and arsenic! Overexposure to mercury has been linked to a wide range of medical conditions, from mental health problems to autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders. One study found that dental workers, who were regularly exposed to mercury, were more likely to develop health conditions, frequently involving the central nervous system.

Unfortunately, removing mercury fillings can be quite dangerous, as it often generates a cloud of mercury vapor. When inhaled, this vapor is absorbed into the lungs, where it enters the bloodstream and can wreak havoc on the entire body.

Luckily, mercury-safe dentists are expertly trained to remove amalgam fillings while minimizing harm.

How a Mercury-Free Dentist Safely Removes Amalgam Fillings

Many dentists will simply drill into an old metal filling to remove it, but that releases dangerous mercury vapor into the air. A mercury-free dentist will take additional steps to protect your health during the process. For example, the filling is removed in larger pieces rather than being drilled out in order to reduce the creation of vapor.

To prevent any mercury particles from being inhaled, you’ll likely have a small mask placed over your nose through which you can safely breathe. A dental dam is placed to isolate mercury particles, with a high-speed suction device removing these particles before they spread to other areas of your mouth. After the filling is removed, your mouth is rinsed with a special solution that attaches to mercury particles, clearing away the last of them.

Afterward, your dentist can place a metal-free filling that restores your tooth’s structure without compromising your health.

The Benefits of Metal-Free Fillings

Nowadays, dentists treat cavities with composite resin, a malleable material that resembles a putty and contains no metal. It’s able to chemically bond to the enamel, so more of the tooth’s structure can be preserved. Additionally, it doesn’t expand and contract when exposed to heat and cold, so it won’t weaken your tooth over time. As a bonus, these fillings are shaded to blend in with your tooth for natural-looking results!

If you still have metal fillings in your teeth, you need to choose the right dental professional to replace them. By seeing a mercury-free dentist, you’ll be making the healthiest and safest decision for your smile!

About the Practice

At Imagine Smiles, Dr. Green and Dr. Case practice holistic dentistry, meaning they provide care that focuses on patients’ overall health, not just their smiles. They also pride themselves on being a mercury-free dental practice, and they take numerous safety protocols when removing amalgam fillings. They’d be happy to safely replace your old mercury fillings with seamless composite resin ones. Learn more by contacting their dental office in Blaine, MN at 763-269-8650.

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