If you’ve ever had a cavity filled there’s a good chance it’s made with amalgam, a combination of metals that contain mercury. Amalgam fillings are distinguishable by their silver-like appearance, and for the last century, they were commonly used among dentists to fill cavities and affordably restore teeth to their proper shape and size.
In recent years, however, new advances in dentistry have allowed patients to receive alternative dental filling materials that offer a realistic tooth appearance without the use of harmful toxins.
Are Amalgam Fillings Dangerous?
According to the FDA, amalgam fillings typically contain 50% elemental mercury and 50% other metals, such as silver, tin, and copper. Due to its high level of mercury, this type of filling can be dangerous to your health, as it has the potential to release “low levels of mercury in the form of a vapor that can be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High levels of mercury vapor exposure are associated with adverse effects in the brain and the kidneys,” (FDA).
Because mercury poisoning is a top concern for patients and their dental care team, certain clinics like Dakota Dental are opting to discontinue the use of amalgam fillings from their practice and replace them with composite resin fillings. Additionally, Dakota Dental offers safe amalgam removal services to help reduce the risk of patient exposure to mercury.
How to Safely Remove Amalgam Fillings
IAOMT (The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology) has developed the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART). This effective method includes rigorous recommendations for removing existing dental amalgam fillings in a safely controlled environment to reduce the potential negative outcomes of mercury exposure to patients, dental professionals, office staff, and others.
The benefits of removing amalgam fillings include:
- Avoiding further exposure to mercury
- Replacing silver fillings by natural looking composites that offer a more pleasing aesthetic
- Protecting your mouth and body from harmful chemicals
Visit the IAOMT website to view their comprehensive patient-dentist checklist of SMART recommendations that we follow at our clinic prior to the removal of amalgam fillings.
Twin Cities Dentists That Remove Mercury Fillings
If you have amalgam fillings and want to have them removed, contact Dakota Dental today! At your consultation we’ll discuss what you can expect during your amalgam removal procedure. For more information on amalgam removal, visit our website or fill out a patient contact form and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly!