Amalgam is a silver-colored filling material for dental use. These older fillings lack the natural look of composite materials, and they may stand out in an otherwise perfect smile. Patients who have had fillings and restorations in the past that use amalgam materials often feel the need to switch out their silver fillings to a more natural color.
At Image Dental, we offer you the chance to have your amalgams removed and replaced with a more natural-looking composite material. Although the American Dental Association has not made any recommendations against amalgam, some patients have concerns of the materials used in amalgam fillings.
Amalgams can contain over 50% of mercury in their mixtures. While many say the mercury given off over time by the amalgam is not enough to be considered a significant health hazard, the debate over whether this is true or not is ongoing.
The procedure for the removal of amalgams is extremely cautious and safeguarded as to ensure the patient is not harmed by any mercury poisoning. Mercury vapor is released when heat is applied to it, so the dentist will keep the filling cool during the drilling process with water and air. The water reduces the heat buildup from the friction of the drill and prevents most of the mercury from vaporizing as a poisonous gas. A suction system is also used to vacuum up any remaining mercury vapor or amalgam particles. After the amalgam is removed completely, the patient’s mouth is immediately cleaned.
Despite these safety precautions, those with diseases or symptoms related to chronic mercury poisoning , are allergic to mercury, or have a dysfunction in their immune systems must be sure to tell their dentist before steps can be taken to remove their amalgams. If you have any questions about amalgam fillings and the removal process, please call our office for more information.
At Image Dental we do offer sedation for implants per patient’s request.