Safe Mercury Removal and Metal-Free Dentistry
We follow strict protocols to keep you safe during the removal of dangerous materials like mercury and have intentionally chosen biocompatible resin and ceramic materials to be used as replacements to keep you healthy now and for years to come.
Explore what makes Nashville Restorative Dentistry the premier metal-free and mercury-safe dental practice serving Franklin, Brentwood, and Cool Springs.
What is Metal-Free Dentistry?
In the past, mercury amalgam silver fillings, porcelain fused to metal (PFM), and gold crowns and bridges were the norm in restoring damaged teeth. Although not visually appealing, these metals were regarded as the best solution for managing tooth restoration. A vigorous debate has arisen in the dental profession about health risks resulting from having these various metals in a patient’s mouth for long durations. Today, metal-free dentistry, as practiced by our team at Nashville Restorative Dentistry, eliminates the concern about metals of any type by offering BPA-free resin fillings, ceramic and zirconia crowns and bridges, and zirconia dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Click here to learn more about metal-free dentistry, and what the FDA has to say about the potential danger of mercury amalgam fillings.
Why Is Safe Mercury Removal Important?
Safe mercury removal is the use of specifically developed protocols to minimize your exposure to mercury during the removal and replacement of mercury amalgam fillings.
The silver-colored mercury amalgam fillings used in the past (and still today in some places) contain between 48-55% mercury, which is a potent neurotoxin. Amalgam fillings are made from liquid mercury mixed with a powder containing silver, tin, copper, zinc, and other metals. It was once thought that the mercury in fillings was permanently trapped in the amalgam - but we know better now. When people chew or the teeth are heated, the fillings emit mercury vapor that is absorbed by the body.
Since mercury is toxic even at very low levels, there’s growing concern that the mercury in fillings could be contributing to systemic health problems. Scientific studies have demonstrated that mercury, even in small amounts, can cause damage to organs, glands, blood cells, enzymes, hormones, and have been shown to suppress the body’s immune system.
Worldwide, the dental community is moving away from mercury amalgam fillings of the past and towards better, safer options. Here are just a few resources if you want to learn more:
- NRD Blog: Are mercury fillings dangerous?
- FDA issues recommendations regarding mercury-containing dental amalgam
- The IAOMT’s position paper on amalgam fillings
- Dr. Tom’s Mercury-Safe Dentistry Resource Page
How We Do Things Differently
As an alternative, metal-free and mercury safe dentistry is focused on using biocompatible materials to restore teeth. We exclusively use metal and BPA-free, bonded composite resins (“white fillings”) and metal-free all ceramic crowns, bridges, and veneers. We also have the ability to replace missing teeth with zirconia implants and a completely metal free implant abutment and crown that attach to the implant.
What If I Want My Old Mercury-Amalgam Fillings Removed?
It’s understandable that you might want or need your toxic old fillings removed and replaced with a safer, modern alternative. Nashville Restorative Dentistry has a thorough Huggins and IAOMT SMART protocol-based process that we go through with each patient to minimize the risks of additional mercury exposure.
Click here to learn more about how we remove mercury fillings safely at Nashville Restorative Dentistry.
- Three day course of Lypospheric Vitamin C leading up to mercury removal
- Hair, face, and body of the patient is covered with a disposable drape and to prevent mercury particles from getting onto their body or clothing
- An alternative source of air (oxygen) is given to the patient via nasal mask
- A non-latex rubber dam is placed to isolate the teeth involved
- The Dental AirVac is placed within 8 inches of the patient’s mouth, providing a vacuum to aid in elimination and filtration of mercury vapors
- A saliva ejector is placed under the dental dam during mercury filling removal to retrieve any vapors that will pass through the dental dam
- High volume suction and copious irrigation with water is used during the sectioning and removal of mercury
- After the rubber dam is removed, all areas of the mouth are thoroughly rinsed with water
- The patient is given capsules of activated charcoal at the end of the procedure to bind with any particles that may find their way into the intestines
- Detoxifying and immune system supplements are considered and evaluated for optimal health
- A whole office system of 5 HEPA filters is constantly utilized to provide the cleanest air possible
- Our office utilizes a centralized mercury separating unit that collects 99% of mercury before it is passed into waste water
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