Mercury safety is an important topic in the dental community today. This conversation stems back to 2001, when the United Nations Environment Program began its assessment of the global impact of mercury. During the years between 2010 and 2012, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for this program conducted several meetings, which are now referred to as the Minamata Convention. Because of these international meetings, the use of dental amalgam will be reduced worldwide.
Why target amalgam?
Dental amalgam is recognized as one of the primary factors in mercury exposure to humans and the environment as well. Mercury is viewed by the World Health Organization and other prestigious collectives as a highly toxic substance. Levels below 1.6 micrograms are considered “safe,” but your holistic dentist prefers to avoid mercury exposure altogether. An average amalgam filling contains 1,000 milligrams, or 1 million micrograms of mercury.
Mercury is not fully contained in an amalgam filling. Although this mixture of metals and mercury hardens in a tooth, it is heated when food is chewed. The heating prompts the release of mercury vapors, which enter the lungs and the bloodstream. Once absorbed by tissues and organs, including the brain, mercury is not naturally eliminated by the body. For this reason, it can have toxic effects over time. For this reason, it is important to take measures to reduce any exposure to this substance.
Many people today have at least one amalgam filling. Due to the significant impact that mercury can have on the body, the recommendation is often to leave an intact filling in place. At Palmer Distinctive Dentistry, we do more than avoid mercury; we perform amalgam removal using the safest protocol available.
Mercury safety means that amalgams are removed with minimal impact to the patient, the dental team, and the environment. Using a cutting technique rather than drilling is just one of the ways that Dr. Palmer protects his patients. Additional steps for mercury safety include isolation of the tooth during the removal process and the delivery of supplemental oxygen that minimizes inhalation of tiny mercury particles.
We are happy to speak with you about the concerns regarding dental amalgam, the alternatives to this type of restoration, and our removal protocol. Contact us today for more information.