Mercury-Safe Dentistry is a Must; Here’s Why

June 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_dawoud @ 9:18 pm
Liquid mercury

Mercury has been largely phased out of commercial products, and for good reason. If you’ve ever heard the term “mad as a hatter,” you might know that it refers to how hatters in Victorian England would often go insane due to being exposed to mercury while practicing their craft. Exposure to this odd liquid metal can cause neurological damage in addition to a multitude of other health problems. While previous decades saw the use of mercury in certain dental restorations such as fillings, mercury-safe dentistry is the new standard of safety. Here’s what you should know about mercury in dentistry and why only a qualified dentist should be the one to remove any dental restorations containing it.

How Can You Be Exposed to Mercury at the Dentist’s Office?

If a dental clinic does not follow mercury-safe procedures, the air inside can often contain mercury levels that are many times higher than is generally recommended. Research has found that workers who were routinely exposed to mercury in such clinics suffered more health problems involving the central nervous system.

The worst way to be exposed to mercury is when it is in the form of vapor, which allows it to travel through the lungs, into the bloodstream, and to the fatty tissues of the brain. The process of removing an older amalgam filling can produce an abundance of mercury vapor, and failure to contain it can put patients, technicians, dentists, and anyone else in the building at risk of exposure.

How Should an Amalgam Filling Containing Mercury Be Removed?

Properly removing an amalgam filling that contains mercury requires everyone involved to wear protective gowns and covers during the procedure. Patients must be protected by an impermeable barrier while the staff uses proper gloves, face shields, and hair coverings as well as special masks designed to capture mercury vapors. The patient must be fed air from an external source through a nasal mask to prevent any inhalation of mercury vapor while wearing oral barriers to protect the mouth’s tissues from exposure.

What Is the Alternative to Amalgam Fillings Containing Mercury?

Using metal-free, all-ceramic dental restorations ensures that patients can have their teeth repaired with no risk of mercury exposure. In addition to not containing this toxic chemical, ceramic fillings perfectly match the color of the patient’s natural teeth. This produces a safer and more beautiful dental restoration that can be removed without the use of the elaborate equipment needed to prevent mercury exposure.

Your smile and the rest of your body deserve a lifetime without exposure to harmful chemicals. Sticking to dentists who abstain from using such chemicals can keep you healthy and your smile shining beautifully.

About the Practice

D&G Dental of West Orange is committed to providing complete dental care to the community of West Orange, NJ. Led by Drs. Med Dawoud, Paula Gencarelli, Fariba Edalat, and Venessa Bellentine, the dedicated staff delivers advanced and comfortable oral health services with warmth and compassion. Areas of expertise include general, cosmetic, emergency, and restorative dentistry, all in a mercury-safe environment. For more information about how a mercury-safe dentist is the best option, contact the office online or dial (973) 731-2200.

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