Amalgam Removals

How to remove old amalgam fillings safely

The system we follow in Bright Blue Dental Practice when removing mercury amalgam fillings is designed to minimize your exposure to mercury vapour and particles.

  1. We keep the fillings cool during removal. Drilling out an amalgam filling generates a tremendous amount of heat, which causes a dramatic increase in the release of mercury, both as a vapour and in amalgam particles, during the entire removal process. Cooling the filling with water and air while drilling dramatically reduces the amount of mercury vapour the filling releases. This involves less drilling, because the dentist only drills enough to cut the filling into chunks, which can then be easily removed by a hand instrument or suction.
  2. We use a high-volume vacuum evacuator that helps capture the mercury vapour and particles together with a continuous flow of air and water.
  3. We let lots of fresh air into the surgery which is more important for the dentist and assistant than the average patient.
  4. We use a rubber dam. A rubber dam isolates the tooth or teeth being worked on. This reduces the amount of mercury vapour inhaled through the mouth and makes it easier to dispose of the filling material and prevent amalgam particles from being swallowed. As long as the patient breathes through the nose, little if any mercury vapour will pass through the rubber dam.
  5. Metal fillings are usually then replaced with white fillings, inlays / onlays or possibly a crown if the decay is very severe.

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