With the advent, and now the affordability of, composite fillings, more people are asking their dentists to provide them with tooth-colored fillings.
In fact, some people even ask their dentists to remove their old amalgam fillings and replace them with white fillings.
In my practice, I avoid using amalgam filling material completely. But I’m also leery of removing old fillings because of the health implications to the patient, myself, and my team.
That’s why I decided to become SMART certified. There’s a special way to remove silver fillings safely, and I’ve achieved certification in that technique.
What’s involved in safe amalgam fillings removal? And how does this relate to holistic dental care?
Why We Made the Decision to Become a SMART Certified Office
What is SMART certification?
This is a certification provided through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, or IAOMT. SMART stands for Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique.
In order to qualify for this certification, I adhere to the “rigorous recommendations” for amalgam fillings removal developed by the IAOMT.
Their goals and recommendations align with my holistic dental care goals for my practice. I want to reduce the risk of mercury exposure, both to my patients and to my team.
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We are excited to announce that in addition to being mercury free practice for 18 yrs, we are now certified SMART! (SAFE MERCURY AMALGAM REMOVAL TECHNIQUE). . Here’s some of the equipment we require. We should be ready to roll with this technique in October some time. Stay tuned…
In other words, the people in my care will have less risk of adverse health reactions due to mercury exposure.
When I look at my patients, I don’t just see a set of teeth. My team and I see each patient that comes into my practice as a whole person. And we want to do all we can to care for their body, mind, and spirit.
To accomplish that, I implement holistic, homeopathic, and science-based principles into the diagnosis and treatment of my patients.
Amalgam filling removal creates mercury vapors and particles. It’s extremely easy to inhale these vapors, which can then be absorbed into the body through the lungs.
Removing these fillings incorrectly can expose my patients, my team, and myself to the potentially harmful effects of mercury.
Amalgam Fillings Removal – Why You Should Care about It
How does this amalgam fillings removal technique work? And why should you care?
Mercury is a neurotoxin and as such can contribute to a number of health problems. Scientific research has shown that exposure to mercury (which makes up 50% of amalgam fillings) can potentially lead to:
- Mood swings
- High blood pressure
- Skin rashes
- Loss of coordination
- Impairment of speech, hearing, and/or sight
- Muscle weakness and atrophy
- Cognitive impairment
- Kidney malfunction
- Respiratory distress
While it’s not likely that the more serious side effects on this list will occur from having an old amalgam filling replaced, mercury can build up in the body over time.
Should You Just Avoid Having Your Amalgam Fillings Removed?
Actually, with every bite you take and every time you grind your teeth, a little bit of mercury enters your bloodstream. After a while, this can lead to health problems, like headaches. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it is a possibility.
That’s why it’s important to get these fillings removed in the safest manner possible.
We start by making sure we have a good air filtration system in the room where the procedure will take place. When possible, we work with open windows as well.
Your Safety – Our Top Priority
My dental team and I wear protective gowns and provide them for our patients, too. Additionally, my assistant and I wear protective masks, face shields, hair covers, and gloves.
We cover the patient’s nose with an impermeable barrier, like an oxygen mask so they don’t inhale any of the amalgam vapors during the procedure.
Then, we cover the oral cavity with a dental dam, which significantly reduces the amount of amalgam particles entering the mouth. Multiple suction devices are also used to capture particles and vapors.
Once the procedure is complete, we thoroughly rinse and suction the patient’s mouth.
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Our Surgically Clean Air unit has just arrived and been installed. It is part of our Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal protocol to remove be mercury and other toxic vapours from the air. As well it captures airborne microbes so just in time for cold and flu season to protect ourselves and our patients! @surgicallycleanair
Interested in Holistic Approach to Dental Care?
Holistic dental care is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s no wonder.
Our environment impacts our health. Reducing the amount of exposure we receive from toxic substances is important if we want to protect ourselves from illness and injury.
Thankfully, the dental community is on board with finding healthful ways to provide dental treatment and care.
If you’d like more information regarding safer amalgam fillings removal or other holistic dental care options, don’t hesitate to ask.
My team and I are happy to provide you with information regarding best dental care practices and providing you with safe, quality dental services.
Do you want to avoid getting fillings in the first place? With regular dental examinations, we can find and treat dental issues in the earliest stages and can even help prevent some of them. Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Shauna Palmer, B.Sc., D.D.S.
Dentist in West Kelowna