Minneapolis Mercury Free Dentist Describes Removal of Amalgam Fillings

Written by Drs. Mark and Rachel Malterud on Nov 6, 2012

Mercury fillings have been used for decades. Most likely you’ve heard reports that mercury fillings may be unsafe. St. Paul, MN General Dentist has practiced Mercury Free Dentistry for over 30 years. Our practice receives many requests from patients for removal of their old mercury fillings so they can be replaced with more attractive and tooth-colored fillings.

Dental fillings made of mercury can leak, permitting decay and discoloration of the tooth’s natural enamel. Fillings containing large amounts of mercury will expand and contract, and possibly lead to cracking or breaking of the tooth. This can be painful and most likely will demand costly and time-consuming dental treatment. It can take several visits to the dentist to restore the tooth. This includes placing of a dental crown and possibly root canal treatment. In more extreme cases, removal of the tooth may be required.

The good news is that advances in modern dentistry now offer safer and more cosmetically appealing options for replacement of old mercury fillings. This may include composite or tooth-colored fillings, as well as porcelain inlays and onlays.

The following steps will be taken when you arrive at our St. Paul, MN General Dentist office for removal of your mercury fillings:

  • A rubber dam will be placed in your mouth to prevent debris from being swallowed.
  • During removal we will use cold water to keep the mercury cool and prevent possible release of mercury vapors.
  • The filling is removed in chunks since drilling the mercury increases the chance of releasing harmful vapors.
  • High-volume vacuum equipment is used to remove airborne particles of mercury and its vapor.
The air in the treatment room is filtered to capture airborne mercury vapor and other contaminants. You will be given a nasal hood to eliminate the possibility of inhaling harmful mercury vapors and airborne particles. On removal of the fillings, we dispose of all supplies used in the process. Your mouth is then rinsed thoroughly for at least ten seconds.

You do not have to live with unattractive and potentially harmful mercury fillings. If you are concerned about this issue, contact our office for a consultation to discuss your case and develop a treatment plan.