Amalgam fillings are those silver coloured fillings, sometimes referred to as “silver” or “mercury” fillings that were a very popular restoration material used by dentists during the “drill & fill” era in the 1970’s.
There is a lot of controversy concerning the mercury component of this filling material as patients who have amalgam fillings are exposed to a daily dose of mercury. Whilst exposure is extremely low, there are concerns over the health effects regarding constant mercury exposure as there is a potential for illness, disease and disorders. Amalgam as a dental filling material contains silver, tin and copper but half of the filling material in weight consists of Mercury.
There is no doubt that when the time comes for you to have a filling, clinical studies prove that choosing an alternative material to dental amalgam is your best option but what about if you already have a mouthful of Amalgam fillings? Should you have them removed and replaced with an alternative filling material?
Certainly it is better not to have had the amalgam filling in the first place but removing the old mercury filling can expose the patient to excess mercury during the removal process. This excess exposure can be reduced!
There is no conclusive evidence to suggest whether it is safer to leave Amalgam fillings in place or to remove them. Some dentists believe that dental amalgam is a safe material and continue to use it whilst others think the opposite. Dentists do not usually recommend removing old amalgam fillings unless the patient has mercury sensitivity but millions of old amalgam fillings are removed every day throughout the world with most patients being excessively exposed to mercury particles and vapor. Amalgam fillings don’t last forever and people today want a natural look that is more aesthetically pleasing as well as choosing a safer material. This is why we should look for guidance from dentists about the safe removal of amalgam fillings.
Dentists nowadays can reduce the mercury exposure that the patient receives by following some simple common sense rules which have been put together by leading dental professional bodies such as IAOMT and the ADA. Patients regularly travel to Hungary for amalgam removal because the procedure is less expensive and the high tech clinics have all of the necessary equipment to safely remove amalgam and replace with a strong safer material.
Cut not Grind
Grinding away the amalgam can form mercury particles which can be inhaled. Our Hungarian dentists cut the amalgam into chunks which will aerosolise the amalgam less. Also spraying with water will keep temperatures lower and reduce vapor pressure within the mercury. It has to be said that proper inspection of the tooth is done to ensure that all of the amalgam has been excavated from the area.
Our dentists keep that high volume evacuation (HVE) suction system right next to the patients tooth and we make sure it discharges outside of the building. Some systems will pump mercury vapor back in the room. Dams Our dentists swear by rubber dams to isolate the area and catch amalgam debris. Saliva ejectors are also placed behind the rubber dam and once the amalgam is removed the rubber dam is also removed and rinsed.
Our dentists also like to cover the face so that no amalgam particles can land on the skin or in the eyes. A separate airway is also provided.
Amalgam has been in use since dentists first started to restore teeth but what is more shocking is that it is still used by dentists in Great Britain today as it is not yet a regulated or restricted material. There are conflicting views over the use of Amalgam as it contains mercury but some dentists still favour this material as it is cheap, durable and easy to use.
Some countries have banned Amalgam, but still patients should consent to it’s use before allowing a dentist to place Amalgam fillings into the mouth in which mercury is the main component.
Source by Chris H Hall