View/Print General Guidlelines for Patients undergoing removal of mercury-amalgam fillingsAs a holistic dentist, I am acutely aware of the harm and risk of exposure to any amount of mercury, particularly when removing amalgam fillings. As a result, I make sure to implement the safest techniques to remove mercury amalgam fillings while reducing exposure to myself, staff, and most importantly, to my patients.
Many traditional dentists improperly remove and grind out old amalgam fillings without giving a second thought to the risks that come with the mercury being released. They claim that the mercury in the filling is stable and does not emit enough mercury to cause harm. However, we know this is not the case.
Amalgam does emit mercury, and the particles that are generated when grinded out with dental burs create clouds of mercury dust that can travel into the respiratory system and settle into the lungs. Mercury exposure from the vapor inhaled can be dangerous to your health; so that is why we take precautions to minimize you and our staff from inhaling these toxic vapors.
One of the first steps that we take to ensure minimal exposure to mercury is by reducing the surface area and particles created during the removal process. Instead of grinding it out into a fine dust and increasing surface area, as well as debris, we instead slice and cut the amalgam into bigger pieces, and then prod out the individual chunks. While doing this, we make sure to keep a flow of water on the cutting surfaces to keep the mercury cool and more stable, which as a result reduces the amount of vapor emitted.
Another tool that we utilize in all amalgam removals is the use of constant high volume suction. It is kept in action throughout the entire procedure until all removal and clean-up is complete. This added step ensures that the release of particles is kept to a minimum and that debris is directed into the suction tube to the extent possible.
Rubber dams are another way holistic dentists create an extra layer of protection by containing the majority of rubble from the grinding of the fillings. Dams are unable to prevent mercury vapor from diffusing, however, so even further precautions are taken.
We always use a saliva ejector on the backside of the dam to prevent air containing mercury vapor from getting trapped in there. A nitrile damn is a better option as it protects from vapor more than latex will. Rinsing is especially important in keeping amalgam particles out and to fully remove mercury vapor after amalgams and dam are out before placing new restorations.
We also take care to carefully cover our patient’s face and skin with protective materials to prevent any particles of amalgam or mercury vapor from landing in the eyes or on the face.
Last but not least, we give our patients supplemental air to make sure they are not breathing in air that is near the amalgam removal site.
By following these safety protocols, we are able to safely extract your amalgam fillings without any further harm to your health, so that we can get started on making you healthier and happier!
We recommend and follow the Huggins protocol for mercury removal, which can be found at:
We also offer a list of supplements to take before, during, and after mercury removal. Please contact us for further information.
For further reading, please this informative article: Revised Protocol for Detoxifying Your Body from Mercury Exposure