Mercury Fillings Removed by Highland Park St. Paul General Dentist

Written by Drs. Mark and Rachel Malterud on Jan 2, 2014

Many dental patients today are concerned about reports they’ve heard regarding the presence of mercury in their old amalgam fillings.But the Highland Park St. Paul General Dentist has not placed a filling containing mercury in over 30 years. In fact, our patients who know we are mercury-free often request removal of their amalgam fillings and replacement with natural, tooth-colored composite fillings.

Concerns about mercury are not the only problem with amalgam fillings. Fillings containing large amounts of amalgam expand and contract and can cause the tooth to crack or break. This can lead to severe pain and time-consuming, costly dental work.

Several procedures may be needed to restore the tooth, including placement of a crown and possible root canal treatment. In extreme cases, the tooth may break in such a way that removal of the tooth is required. Many patients are also unhappy with the appearance of their older amalgam fillings since they darken over time, and cause the surrounding natural enamel to look dark and unattractive.

Fortunately, modern dentistry provides safer, aesthetically-pleasing options for replacement of mercury fillings, like composite or tooth-colored fillings. We’ve provided a brief summary of the procedure that the Highland Park St. Paul General Dentist follows to safely remove old amalgam fillings:

  • To prevent debris from the filling being swallowed, a rubber dam is placed in your mouth.
  • Cold water is used during removal to keep the amalgam cool and prevent release of mercury vapors.
  • Drilling away the amalgam increases the chance of releasing mercury vapors, so the dentist will “chunk” out the fillings.
  • Amalgam particles and mercury vapor are removed with high-volume vacuum equipment.
  • The air in the treatment room is filtered to capture airborne mercury vapor and other contaminants.
Our dental team wears dental masks, and you will be given a nasal hood with oxygen to eliminate the chance of inhalation of mercury vapors or airborne particles. Immediately after the filling is removed we dispose of our masks, gloves and the rubber dam. Your entire mouth is then rinsed for at least ten seconds.

If you are concerned about the mercury fillings in your mouth for safety or aesthetic reasons, please contact our office for a consultation appointment. At that time we will assess your situation and recommend a treatment plan that includes removal of your amalgam fillings.