What to expect during safe removal of amalgam fillings
Dental amalgam has been used for over a century as a filling material for teeth that have cavities. While this material is effective as filling a tooth, it can be problematic for oral and systemic health in multiple ways. At Go Natural Dentistry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, holistic dentist Dr. Yolanda Cintron has over 21 years of experience in performing safe removal of amalgam fillings.
Rigorous safety protocols for amalgam removal
Because amalgam contains approximately 50 percent mercury, it is essential for the health of both you and the dental team, as well as the environment, to perform amalgam removal using rigorous safety protocols. Without proper precautions, mercury vapors can be released into the air – and in turn, the bloodstream – where it can have toxic effects. Dr. Yolanda Cintron is accredited with the IAOMT and IBDM. She follows the “SMART” protocol (Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique) to safely and effectively remove amalgam fillings and replace them with biocompatible fillings that are tooth-colored and mercury-free. The SMART protocol includes the following precautions, among others:
- The use of oxygen masks by both the patient and the dental team during the procedure to reduce the chances of mercury inhalation
- Using isolation barriers in the mouth to prevent the mercury vapor from permeating your oral cavity and tissues
- Using a powerful suction system to remove mercury particles and vapors during the procedure
- Cutting up the filling prior to removal to reduce the amount of drilling that is needed, which in turn reduces mercury vapors
- Use of personal protective equipment for both the patient and the dental team to minimize mercury contact with clothing
- Safe disposal procedures to eliminate contamination of the environment
After removing the metal amalgam, the tooth will need to be refilled to maintain its function and prevent future bacterial infiltration. Dr. Cintron will place a tooth-colored composite resin filling, which is non-reactive with the body and expands at the same rate as natural teeth, to reduce the chances of fractures or breakage.