Using proper protocol for safe amalgam filling removal in Austin, we guard our patients’ health
For over a century, children and adults alike have regularly had cavities repaired with dental amalgam. Due to the years of use of this material, many patients, as well as several dental associations, believe amalgam to be safe and effective for tooth restoration. Dr. Griffin Cole is one of a growing group of dentists who understand the vital flaw in amalgam use. Since the very beginning of his dental practice, Dr. Cole has treated patients with mercury-free dental fillings. Moreover, the protocol for safe amalgam filling removal set forth by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) is a part of our Austin practice.
During standard amalgam filling removal, a drill is used, releasing thousands of tiny mercury particles into the air in the immediate vicinity of the patient and the dental staff. The strategies incorporated into the IAOMT protocol have been designed to minimize exposure to mercury, a substance recognized as poisonous.
Cut and cool
One of the problems with drilling amalgam fillings is the warming of the substance that occurs under friction. When warmed, amalgam releases toxic mercury vapors, which can be inhaled and absorbed through soft tissues. The safer protocol is to cut out amalgam fillings and continuously cool the material with a stream of water. This technique significantly decreases the potential for vaporization and inhalation.
Suction is an important component of the safe removal of amalgam fillings, because, even with cutting and cooling, there will be a small amount of mercury released into the air. Using high volume evacuation in close proximity to the treatment area further reduces the potential for inhalation of toxic mercury vapors.
Latex-free rubber gloves and dam
Protection from tiny mercury particulates is achieved by placing a barrier around the tooth and the rest of the mouth. The latex-free rubber dam prevents exposure to soft tissues in the mouth. The latex-free gloves worn by the dentist and staff will limit exposure through the skin.
Protecting the patients’ skin
Undergoing dental treatment with a cover over the face may seem somewhat strange. The removal of amalgam fillings, however, requires the highest amount of protection from mercury particles possible. Placing a comfortable towel over the patient’s face keeps mercury from the skin, where it can be absorbed.
IAOMT considers the various ways in which mercury can be released and absorbed. During treatment to remove amalgam fillings, patients are provided with an alternate air source so that microscopic mercury particles are not breathed in.
Amalgam fillings, due to their mercury content, are a health risk. The removal of these restorations, however, can pose further risk if not handled correctly. Using the IAOMT protocol, Dr. Cole offers patients the highest degree of protection from mercury exposure.
Restore better health with safe mercury filling removal. Contact us at (512) 472-3565 for your consultation.Back to Mercury Safe Dentistry Page