In one of the other blog posts, the health risks of amalgam dental restorations was discussed. Amalgam fillings can be removed safely. At Dr. Saylor’s office, there is a very strict amalgam removal protocol that was developed and implemented to prevent mercury exposure to the patient and the dental providers. If you’re thinking about removing metal fillings and wondering if it’s dangerous to have mercury fillings removed, below is a pictorial guide to the extensive precautions taken in our office and some of the things you should look for when researching a provider to remove your amalgam fillings.
The picture above is a typical amalgam removal set-up for Dr. Saylor.
From a different angle, (photo above) you can see the precautions that are taken to protect the patient and provider alike. The Horton Vacuum is on during removal to reduce mercury vapor and amalgam particles from the ambient air. The patient also has an Isolite Suction Barrier in place. This acts as a safety net in the back of the mouth. It has a continuous flow of high volume evacuation (suction) and protects the patient from swallowing amalgam particulates or mercury vapors. Because mercury can be ingested through the soft tissues, we also have to rinse the oral cavity frequently with cold dental water. The Isolite barrier has a light built into it so that the whole oral cavity is illuminated, allowing Dr. Saylor to identify any stray debris that needs to be removed.
The photo above illustrates more precautionary measures including Dr. Saylor’s super filtration mask and the patient’s mask with a constant flow of oxygen to prevent the inhalation of mercury vapors.