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Mercury Removal

3D rendering of before and after a mercury removal procedure on a tooth fillingImproper removal of dental amalgam poses significant hazards. High exposure to mercury during the drilling of amalgam fillings without adequate precautions can jeopardize the health of both patients and dentists. Our proficient and certified dentist,Dr. Tom Flath, DMD here at Bravo Smile, ensure safe mercury removal without compromising your well-being.

Why Do Patients Want Dental Restorations with Mercury Removed?

Dental amalgam is the primary dental restoration material that contains mercury. Patients may seek safe mercury removal for several reasons:

Health Concerns

Mercury is a known toxic substance, and there are concerns about its potential adverse health effects. Some patients may worry about exposure to mercury vapor during the placement, removal, or presence of amalgam fillings in their mouth.

Precautionary Measures

Patients may opt for mercury removal as a precautionary measure to minimize potential health risks associated with long-term exposure to mercury vapor. Even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deems dental amalgam safe for most patients, some individuals prefer to err on the side of caution.

Environmental Awareness

Some patients are environmentally conscious and may prefer dental materials that have less impact on the environment. While dental amalgam is widely used and effective, its mercury content raises environmental concerns, especially regarding disposal practices.

Aesthetic Considerations

Dental amalgam fillings are silver in color, which can be noticeable when smiling or talking, particularly in visible areas of the mouth. Patients may opt for mercury removal to replace amalgam fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings for aesthetic reasons.

Allergy or Sensitivity

While rare, some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to certain metals, including mercury. In such cases, removing amalgam fillings and replacing them with alternative materials can help alleviate any adverse reactions.

Personal Preference

Ultimately, some patients simply prefer to have mercury-containing dental restorations removed from their mouths due to personal beliefs, preferences, or peace of mind, even if there are no immediate health concerns. They may feel more comfortable with alternative restorative materials.

Assessing Amalgam Fillings: Safe or Risky?

Amalgam fillings, utilized in millions of teeth worldwide, remain a preferred option when composite fillings or costly crowns are impractical for tooth restoration. Concerns about amalgam primarily revolve around mercury, used to facilitate the metal's malleability for filling cavities and cracks in teeth. While the FDA affirms the safety of amalgam fillings for children aged six and older, their use is limited to cases where alternative restoration methods are exhausted.

The Process of Safe Amalgam Removal

Chilled Filling Removal

Unlike composite fillings, amalgam removal poses risks due to mercury vaporization during drilling. To mitigate exposure, the filling is fragmented and extracted using specialized tools or suction.

Enhanced Air Filtration

During removal, a large aperture filter near the mouth aids in extracting amalgam while providing supplementary oxygen to prevent inhalation of mercury vapor. Once amalgam is replaced with composites, the air source can be discontinued.

Proper Disposal for Contamination Prevention

Prompt disposal of debris post-removal minimizes mercury exposure. Continuous suction and airflow help cool the process and reduce contamination risks.

Post-Procedure Expectations

Following removal, patients either spit out residual debris after dam removal or rinse for 15 seconds if no dam was used, significantly reducing mercury exposure risk.

During the final step, patients refrain from swallowing while undergoing suctioning, rinsing, gargling, and spitting for 15 seconds. Post-filling replacement, precautionary measures including glove usage and neck and face cleaning are undertaken to mitigate potential mercury spread.

Book Your Appointment Today!

Mercury-safe amalgam removal demands meticulous attention and expert guidance. At Bravo Smile, our dentist, Dr. Tom Flath, DMD, offers comprehensive support and precise execution of the process. Schedule your appointment today for safe and effective amalgam removal.

Contact Us

Bravo Smile
5100 S. Macadam Avenue, Suite 160
Portland, OR 97239
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Mercury Removal in Portland, OR
Bravo Smile, 5100 S. Macadam Avenue, Suite 160, Portland, OR 97239, (971) 441-5987,, 7/11/2024, Tags: Dentist Portland OR,