Patient safety is our top priority. We are always investigating new materials, methods and technologies to deliver the safest dental experience. Let’s explore how we implement this with the removal of amalgam (mercury) fillings.
1. Isolation Combined With High-Speed Evacuation: Many practitioners may utilize a dental dam, which offers the patient protection while removing amalgam. We take it a step further using a technology called Isodry. The Isodry offers a flexible mouthpiece that acts as a bite block for patient comfort with continuous suction and isolating the field of operation. This is a safety benefit for not only the patient but the staff as well.
2. Excessive Amount of Water: The more water that is used in the removal of amalgam fills, the fewer particles that become airborne. This is essential to guard against ingestion of the fine particles.
3. Large Section Removal: The amalgam is separated into sections using a small diameter carbide drill and removed in as large of pieces as possible.
4. Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal is lightly sprinkled in the oral cavity once the Isodry has been placed. The charcoal is helpful in absorbing and eliminating mercury that may have been inadvertently ingested during the removal process.
5. Oxygen: An optional service is having oxygen administered during the removal process with the use of a nasal cannula. The use of Oxygen ensures that the body is regulating any fumes (minimal due to the processes listed above) in the air and minimizes entry into the body.
6. Amalgam Waste Disposal: Considered hazardous waste, amalgam is handled and disposed of in accordance with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruling. The installation of certified amalgam separators demonstrating a minimum of 95% amalgam separation efficiency is used, This allows for the recycling of the material in lieu of it being discharged into the sewer system.