A dentist may recommend that you replace your old dental fillings with dental crowns. If you have had a cavity at some point in your life, there is a chance the dentist used grey metal amalgam. These are the silver fillings you can see in your smile when you speak or laugh. These were once…
FAQs: Removing an Amalgam (Metal) Dental Filling
Decades ago, dentists used amalgam dental fillings. An amalgam was formulated with other metals like mercury. People believed that amalgam was a durable way to fill cavities. Modern dentistry has changed that concept. Because of the various health problems that patients with amalgam fillings exhibit, amalgam dental filling removal has been an urgent matter. If you want to know more about this process, the following are some FAQs and the answers to each.
Why should the amalgam stay cool?
Removing an amalgam dental filling is a complicated process. Dentists cannot simply remove the filling and install another filling. A dentist must use a specialized procedure that ensures the safety of the dental staff and the patient. To start with, the amalgam must always stay cool.
While drilling the amalgam, the friction generates substantial heat. This heats up the amalgam. The heat releases the vapors of mercury that is in the amalgam dental filling. These vapors are harmful to inhale. To prevent the release of the toxic vapors, the dentist and the staff must keep the amalgam cool during the drilling. Combining dry air and water accomplishes this.
How should the dentist remove the amalgam?
Dentists must cut the amalgam filling into smaller pieces instead of removing it in just one piece. It is better to remove the dental filling this way. It may take more time, but it is necessary to reduce the frequency of drilling. If the dentist drills less, the release of mercury vapors decreases.
Why do dentists use an evacuator?
The dentist can remove an amalgam filling using an evacuator. This piece of equipment is a powerful suction system that can remove mercury vapors and amalgam particles. An evacuator must always be turned on during the removal of an amalgam dental filling. This will reduce the patient’s, dentist’s, and staff’s exposure to the detrimental particles and mercury vapors.
What is the purpose of a rubber dam?
Dentists can use a rubber dam during the removal of an amalgam dental filling. This flexible tool can isolate the tooth that has the amalgam filling. Using this dam can help protect the patient from toxic mercury vapors. If combined with the evacuator, water, dry air, and partitioning, the amalgam removal is not dangerous.
What happens once there is mercury exposure?
Mercury is a toxic element. It can harm the peripheral and central nervous systems. Mercury can also affect a person’s immunity, senses, and digestion. An individual can have behavioral and neurological problems like memory loss, tremors, cognitive dysfunction, and neurological issues.
Is the removal of an amalgam dental filling painful?
There is some discomfort during amalgam removal. To prevent the patient from feeling any pain, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic. This allows the dentist to remove the amalgam filling without hurting the patient. The anesthetic’s effects would be similar to having a regular dental filling.
Removing a harmful amalgam dental filling can help improve your health
An amalgam filling causes myriad health issues. That is why many patients want their dentists to remove their amalgam. It may take some time but going slow reduces the mercury vapors that the patient, dentist, and dental staff could inhale. With the use of an evacuator and a rubber dam, your amalgam dental filling removal is not dangerous. Discussing the full process of amalgam removal with your dentist can answer more questions that you may have.
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