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What is safe mercury removal

tooth with metal filling

When you go to the dentist to have an old mercury silver filling removed, the typical scenario is  the dentist numbs the tooth  and then drills out the old filling.  The dentist may have a paper mask and gloves on, but what is happening when the old mercury filling is being removed , is that there is a spray of mercury vapor and particulate that is a major plume coming out of your mouth.  This mercury vapor plume is very poisonous.  Both the dentist, the assistant, and you the patient, are breathing this plume of mercury vapor.  Of course, as we all know, mercury is the most poisonous substance on earth behind uranium. This is not a very safe method since everyone in the room is being exposed to the mercury.

At Advanced Dental Practices we do not use these dangerous practices.  Instead we use a safe mercury removal technique.  This technique utilizes equipment to both protect the patient, the dentist, and the assistant.  First we anesthetize the patient.  Then the patient is given an oral rinse that protects the tissues from the mercury vapors.  Then we place a rubber dam to isolate the tooth that we will be treating.  This prevents any of the particles from the silver mercury filling from getting in the patient’s mouth.  Next we fully drape the patient to prevent any particulate matter from getting on their clothes.  A large vacuum is placed in the front of the patient’s mouth to suction away any vapors.  This suction device has a hema filter along with a charcoal filter that binds any mercury from getting into the room.  While removing the silver mercury filling, we use high-volume suction that is attached to a mercury separator to prevent any of this mercury from getting into our environment.  Once all the mercury and silver have been removed from the tooth, the rubber dam is removed. All coverings and gloves are then put in a sealed container to be removed later by our sanitation company.  After the patient has rinsed with water, we again have them rinse with the oral detox solution.

In order to protect ourselves, both the assistant and the dentist wear special respirators designed to filter out any mercury vapor.  We also use special gloves to prevent the penetration of the vapor to our skin.  At this time, we are purchasing one more additional piece of equipment to further protect our patients. This advanced technology is an oxygen breathing system so that patients will be breathing oxygen through their nose to prevent any possible vapor inhalation.

I will be giving you more information on this subject as time goes by.

Ross K Palioca DMD

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