Safe amalgam removal

Safe removal of amalgam, the source of mercury in the mouth

You very likely have amalgam in your mouth, too. In most dental practices, it is one of the most popular filling materials – it is easy to process, lasts a long time and in many countries is free (covered by health insurance). Amalgam, however, is not safe. The reason? It contains at least 50% of highly toxic mercury

Mercury is toxic even in tiny amounts and therefore poses a significant risk to human health. In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned against mercury: “Mercury can have harmful effects on the nervous, digestive, respiratory and immune systems, on the kidneys and may cause lung damage.

Mercury vapor is released from amalgam fillings when chewing, brushing teeth and drinking hot or acidic drinks, with a multitude of negative health effects. Dozens of micrograms (μg) of mercury are released from one amalgam filling every day. The average durability of an amalgam filling is 20 years. This represents long-term intoxication with low doses of mercury. Unfortunately, mercury also has the ability to accumulate in the body (it is collected and stored in tissues). 

According to many studies, amalgam is the main source of mercury in the human body. Its effect on the development of neurological, autoimmune and oncological diseases has been confirmed.

The mercury contained in amalgam is most harmful to children, pregnant women and, in general, women in their fertile years. Mercury has a detrimental effect on children’s brain development, as a number of studies have repeatedly confirmed. Mercury passes through the placenta; it also enters breast milk. The amount of mercury is directly proportional to the number of amalgam fillings. This is based on a European Union (EU) regulation that protects this highly vulnerable group. Since 2018, the EU has banned the use of amalgam in children under 15, as well as in pregnant and lactating women, to protect the fetus and nursing child. A general ban on amalgam is planned in 2030.   

If you’re considering replacing amalgam fillers with a white alternative, whether for health or aesthetic reasons, we believe this information will make your decision a lot easier. At the same time, you should know that when removing amalgam, certain hygienic precautions should be followed for safety reasons. During the removal of the amalgam filling, a large amount of mercury vapor is released into the air. Thus, there is a risk of inhalation by the patient and medical staff.

At the Yurmax dental clinic, however, you are not at risk – we perform all procedures under impeccable hygienic conditions, which we have developed to perfection over the years. 

When removing amalgam, we use the highly secure SMART protocol that protects patients and staff. The SMART protocol includes the following measures: 

FROM THE PATIENT’S PERSPECTIVE:

• The patient’s face, exposed skin and clothing are covered so that amalgam particles do not come into contact with their skin or eyes.

• A latex-free dental dam is used to isolate the treated tooth and prevent amalgam particles from coming into contact with the oral mucosa.

• Powerful air suction and a cooling water extractor are placed next to the tooth. 

• The patient receives a nasal mask, which forms a mechanical barrier to inhaling air from the office space. Clean air is blown into the mask.

• Drilling takes place at low speeds, resulting in less heat and vibration, thus reducing the amount of mercury vapor produced.

• The amalgam filler is constantly cooled during removal to maintain a low temperature and reduce the mercury vapor pressure.

• The amalgam filler is divided into smaller pieces to produce the smallest possible amount of mercury vapor.

• A special high-performance suction system is placed near the patient’s head, which collects air around the patient’s mouth and diverts mercury vapors away from the office.

• Before placing new fillings, the latex-free dental dam is removed and the patient’s mouth is thoroughly rinsed.

• After the completion of the amalgam removal process, the office is intensely ventilated.

• A vitamin infusion can be administered to support the immune system.   

FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE DENTIST AND STAFF:

• Staff are equipped with respirators with special mercury capturing filters.

• Staff wear a jacket, latex-free gloves and eye protection.

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