A holistic dentist concerned about safe removal of amalgam or so-called silver fillings can take action to make sure that toxic, mercury containing filling material is safely removed. Removal of old, dangerous dental restorations and usage of modern biologically compatible materials are critical parts of holistic dentistry.
Here are some of the steps that may be involved in the safe removal of mercury amalgam fillings:
- Keep the filling material cool. Drilling generates a great deal of a heat, but an experienced holistic dentist knows how to cool the filling with water and air to prevent mercury vapor release.
- Cutting the amalgam into pieces. Chunking is the standard in holistic dentistry for amalgam removal. When drilling is limited to only what’s necessary to release chunks of the material, hand instruments and suction can be used to safely remove and dispose of toxic amalgam chunks.
- Using a high-volume evacuator. This type of powerful suction tool should be placed within a half-inch of the filling during the removal process. It can clear away small particles better than any other piece of equipment.
- Providing the patient alternate air. While not always done, providing the patient with an alternate air source is another way to prevent the inhalation of any mercury particles that escape.
- Using a rubber dam. Another step holistic dentists use to prevent inhalation, a rubber dam isolates the tooth being worked on from surrounding teeth and protects the lips. This also offers a dry field for installation of a new composite filling.
- Removing of gloves and cleaning of the mouth. A thorough holistic dentist and his or her assistant should remove and throw away gloves and then rinse the patient’s mouth for 15 seconds or more following mercury filling removal. The patient should avoid swallowing if at all possible.
- Handling additional cleanup immediately. This includes disposing of the rubber dam and cleaning the patient’s face as necessary. This is usually the job of an assistant, but a careful holistic dentist will ensure it has been done.
- Filtering all air in the practice. Air purification in the dental practice is a good standard practice anyway. This helps protect the patients, dentists and other dental professionals as well as office workers from any particles or unhealthy substance that may escape into the air.
- Using extra air purification near the patient. In addition to the general air purifying procedures of the practice, an additional air purifier may be placed as near to the face of the patient as possible to catch any toxic mercury particles that are released despite other efforts.
- Prescribing of activated charcoal. While not always suggested, there is evidence to suggest that taking activated charcoal 10 minutes or more before the removal of toxic fillings can help bind some small mercury particles that may be released into the system so they can pass through without negative effect.
Segment From Dr. Woods Lecture at UCSD Regarding Amalgam Removal
When you go to a holistic dentist for mercury filling removal, the most important thing to note is that multiple procedures are in place to protect you and the dental professionals from the harmful health effects of releasing the mercury in your old fillings.
While the procedures you observe may vary from those listed above, extreme caution is necessary since mercury is proven toxic in many ways. The first three steps, however, are the most important and are keystones of holistic dentistry in relation to mercury fillings.
Research and experience related to other mercury removal procedures may not be proven or complete, but there’s no doubt that mercury fillings need to be removed. And there’s no doubt that precautions must be taken by a holistic dentist during mercury removal to protect everyone involved.
If you live in the San Diego area, and would like Dr. Paige Woods to remove your amalgam fillings, call (619) 359-6569.