Safe Amalgam Removal

In one of the other blog posts, the health risks of amalgam dental restorations was discussed. At Dr. Saylor’s office, there is a very strict amalgam removal protocol that was developed and implemented to prevent mercury exposure to the patient and the dental providers. Below is a pictorial guide to the extensive precautions taken in our office and some of the things you should look for when researching a provider to remove your amalgam fillings.  

 The picture above is a typical amalgam removal set-up for Dr. Saylor.

From a different angle, (photo above) you can see the precautions that are taken to protect the patient and provider alike. The Horton Vacuum is on during removal to reduce mercury vapor and amalgam particles from the ambient air. The patient also has an Isolite Suction Barrier in place. This acts as a safety net in the back of the mouth. It has a continuous flow of high volume evacuation (suction) and protects the patient from swallowing amalgam particulates or mercury vapors. Because mercury can be ingested through the soft tissues, we also have to rinse the oral cavity frequently with cold dental water. The Isolite barrier has a light built into it so that the whole oral cavity is illuminated, allowing Dr. Saylor to identify any stray debris that needs to be removed. 

The photo above illustrates more precautionary measures including Dr. Saylor’s  super filtration mask and the patient’s mask with a constant flow of oxygen to prevent the inhalation of mercury vapors. 

  Safe Amalgam Removal Protocol:
1. Pre-rinse and gargle with Oral Detox PRO mouth rinse
-This mouth rinse binds to and eliminates mercury vapor released from amalgam fillings. 
2. Long disposable drape
-When drilling anything, aerosols and droplets are produced and dispersed into the air around us, falling onto your clothes as you lie in the chair. A drape is a barrier between the dental office and your home.
3. Alternative air source (oxygen mask)
-80% of mercury that is inhaled is absorbed into the body!  The mask prevents inhalation of dangerous vapors.
4. Safety Glasses
-Wouldn’t want anything to get in your eyes!
*The patient pictured above waived the safety glasses due to own comfort level.* 
5. Isolite or Rubber Dam isolation
-The Isolite is our preference, but a rubber dam can be effective in containing scrap amalgam and preventing ingestion of mercury.
6. DentAirVac System (a high volume evacuator)
-Suction is absolutely required. Without it, the patient will end up swallowing the filling material. 
7. Copious amounts of water to keep fillings cool
-If heat stimulates the release of the toxic chemicals, then we need to minimize that risk and keep the tooth cool.
8. “Chunk-out” technique used to reduce the amount of particles and vapor released; instead of drilling every last bit of the metal out and creating millions of droplets in the process, we try to loosen the filling and remove chunks or the whole filling at once.
9. Rinse and gargle with Oral Detox Pro Rinse
-Again, we really dislike the idea of a patient ingesting any amalgam, so we have the patient rinse again.
These precautions may seem extreme to the average person, but we feel they are necessary to ensure maximum benefit and minimal risk to the patient. Removing the amalgam restorations in your mouth could exponentially improve your health and quality of life, but there is a right way to go about that endeavor. Please reply to this post if you have any questions and remember: Oral health and Overall health go hand-in-hand. Removing this toxic material is one of the ways to improve your lifeand health.
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