Dental amalgam, which is a mixture of several different metals, has been used to fill cavities for more than a century. Recently, however, many patients have considered amalgam removal in Dallas due to concerns over the hazards presented by the mercury included in amalgam fillings. Patients worry that the mercury might increase the risk of birth defects, neurological disorders and autoimmune illnesses, among other conditions.
If your amalgam fillings have deteriorated over time, you should definitely pursue amalgam removal. Any filling that has broken down should be replaced to prevent further tooth decay, but when an amalgam filling is compromised, the patient’s mercury exposure—and risk of negative outcomes—may be higher.
Some patients consider removal even when the amalgam fillings are intact. Some research has shown that uncompromised amalgam fillings have inconsequential effects, and the Food and Drug Administration has declared amalgam to be a safe substance. However, other studies suggest that amalgam fillings cause a significant increase in mercury levels found in the blood. Until the debate is settled, many patients are opting to remove the amalgam, thinking “better safe than sorry”. However, the need to remove the fillings is not as time-sensitive in a case when the amalgam filling has not been damaged.
Amalgam fillings are noticeable and unattractive in the mouth. Certain patients may prefer to replace amalgam with tooth-colored composite fillings for this reason as well.
When removing amalgam fillings, the dentist will take steps to minimize further exposure to mercury as a result of the removal. The office must have adequate ventilation with a powerful suction device called a high-volume evacuator that removes amalgam particles from the air. The patient should wear a protective covering, and the mouth should be thoroughly rinsed and vacuumed after the amalgam has been removed.
The dentist will then replace the amalgam filling with composite materials, which are safe and durable. At that point, the process is the same as that of any other conventional filling.
If you decide to have your amalgam fillings removed or would like more information about amalgam removal in the Dallas area, please call (972) 458-2464 to schedule a consultation.