Mercury free and mercury safeThese terms can be especially confusing for patients. You might think that mercury free and mercury safe have the same meaning, but they are distinctly different. We are proud to say that our practice is both.
- Mercury free means that a dentist doesn’t use amalgam or other mercury products in new restorations
- Mercury safe means that the dentist is trained in, and follows, a rigid protocol to prevent mercury exposure and environmental pollution when removing amalgam
Our amalgam removal protocolThe common technique for replacing a filling is often referred to as “drill and fill.” The dentist simply drills out the old filling and replaces it. Unfortunately, when the old filling is amalgam, that approach releases alarming amounts of mercury vapor and particulate matter. That is why Dr. Altman and Dr. Dalwani use a stringent mercury safe protocol, which includes:
- A breathing mask delivers a clean air supply and filters out the mercury
- A rubber dam is used to isolate teeth from the rest of the mouth, so you don’t contact or swallow particles
- Two specialized suction devices are used to collect larger pieces of mercury and direct the vapor straight to an air filter
- Your body will be covered with lightweight, disposable drapes to keep any mercury from settling on your clothing or any exposed skin