At SHDC we consider two important questions regarding mercury amalgam fillings…
The dental team at Sydney Holistic Dental Centre regularly reviews our protocols, to stay as up to date as possible.
The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (iaomt.org) in the United States, have done a great deal of scientific research on the effects of mercury amalgams, both for patient welfare and also for dental professionals’ welfare – for the dentist and chairside assistants who are doing this procedure throughout our working day.
Health Risks of Mercury
The most commonly used dental material in the last 170 years is dental mercury amalgam, which contains one of the most toxic substances, mercury.
Dental amalgam contains 50% mercury, 20-35% silver, 6-15% copper, 8-15% tin and occasionally small amounts of zinc.
Temperature, corrosion and friction from chewing or clenching increases the rate of mercury released from amalgams. After chewing or increases in temperature from, say a warm drink e.g., coffee or tea, the levels of mercury vapour in the mouth are elevated for up to 90 minutes.
SMART is the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique, which is a set of safety measures to reduce mercury exposures for both patient and the dental team during a dental amalgam filling removal. These safety measures were developed as a result of scientific research collected by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).
The SMART protocol is now regarded as the highest international standard and safest procedure for the safe removal of mercury amalgam. (If you are interested we have the references available.)
These procedures are conducted with the utmost care, following the accredited SMART system. They include the following steps:
*A recent introduction at SHDC to support the SMART protocol is a new and specific suction tube and mercury filtration system, placed between the patient and the dentist. Because it’s such a large tube, we call it the ‘elephant in the room.’
All dental amalgams also referred to as silver fillings, contain 50% mercury (a neurotoxin) which is constantly released in the form of an invisible vapour. The process of drilling out amalgam fillings releases even higher quantities of mercury vapour and fine particulates that can be inhaled and absorbed through the lungs and skin. This is potentially harmful to patients and the dental team.
Our dental clinic has obtained SMART certification from the IAOMT based on thorough completion of coursework related to mercury and the safe removal of amalgam fillings.