Mercury dental fillings
18 May 2020

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How and When Mercury Dental Fillings Should Be Removed

Do you still have mercury dental fillings? Below, we’ll find out when and how they should be safely removed by your dentist.

When should mercury dental fillings be removed?

When the traditional silver fillings are inserted, they are packed into an area of your tooth. Since
there isn’t any sort of permanent bonding between the filling and the tooth, the silver fillings will,
overtime, begin to wear down.

As the filling wears down, it exposes new areas on the tooth which can eventually become
home to harmful decay-causing bacteria. If the cavity wears out and the decaying tooth is not
detected until the problem worsens, you may require a crown to be placed on your tooth, rather
than just replacing the filling.

One small caveat, though: not all patients are eligible for mercury dental fillings removal. Your dentist will need to examine your teeth, the existing amalgam filling, and your lifestyle before recommending removal. You will need to wait until it is safe to do so, such as after pregnancy and nursing if you’re expecting.

How are mercury dental fillings removed?

At Roots on Whyte Dental, we follow specific mercury amalgam removal protocols to reduce the risk and exposure to both patient and staff.

Don’t worry; it’s a quick and simple procedure that ends with a biocompatible replacement:

  1. Preparation

    Your dentist will place a rubber dam in your mouth to prevent debris from travelling down to your throat and ensure that you can breathe without inhaling toxic mercury vapour.

  2. “Cut and chunk”

    Dentists commonly use this method in removing mercury dental fillings. The cut and chunk method involves removing the amalgam in larger chunks, rather than grinding them and risking inhalation or travelling down your throat. This low-exposure dental filling removal technique also ensures that most, if not all, of the mercury is removed, followed by a rinse to eliminate traces from your saliva.

  3. Remove the filling

    Once the mercury filling has been cut up in chunks, your dentist will use a high-volume suction
    to remove and capture mercury vapour to prevent inhalation.

  4. Vacuum

    After ensuring that the mercury filling has been completely removed, your dentist will vacuum your mouth to rinse it. During this time, make sure to avoid swallowing, and rinse as far back into your throat as possible afterwards.

  5. Purify the air

    Since mercury vapour may escape the rubber dam during the dental filling removal process, your dentist may opt to purify the air to eliminate traces of vapour. While some mercury-safe dentists may already have air filters installed in their clinics, they may activate a specialized filtering device close to your mouth for a few seconds at a time.

  6. Dental filling replacement

    Now, you’re all set for new and much safer dental fillings. Once all traces of mercury are removed, your dentist will prepare to install new fillings made of either composite (plastic), porcelain ceramic, or other metals like gold. Before the mercury dental filling removal, your dentist will examine your oral history and lifestyle and recommend the best and safest replacement to restore your healthy smile.

Do you still have amalgam fillings? Learn why you need to book a mercury dental filling removal with our experienced and mercury-safe dentists. Call Roots on Whyte Dental at 888-602-2308 or contact us here.

Dr. William Yoo

A graduate of University of Sydney, Dr. Yoo joined the Roots on Whyte team after working on the West Coast and throughout Northern Canada. Dr. Yoo is passionate about oral care and holistic approaches to dentistry. His mission is to ensure each patient receives the best possible care during their visit at the clinic. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and exploring Edmonton’s restaurant scene together with his wife, Kelly.

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