Mercury Free & Mercury Safe
Our green office is dedicated to natural health - for you, for our team, and for our community.
To this end, we train all of our dental staff to safely remove and dispose of mercury and we never use mercury in our dental materials. We support healthy removal of existing amalgams with thorough initial consultations, SMART removal protocols, and nutritional support as needed.
Your smile should bring you health, joy, and confidence - our natural and conscientious approach does this safely and with care.
Replacing Amalgam (Mercury) Fillings
When should I replace my mercury fillings?
Amalgam fillings often shift and leak over time. This can create hairline fractures in the tooth, weakening its structure, or form small gaps between the surface of the tooth and the edge of the filling, which may lead to decay. If these issues are occurring (or if there are cavities on the tooth already), it is a good idea to replace your filling.
Many people prefer the strength and esthetics of tooth-colored fillings, or have health concerns related to metal sensitivities, or potential mercury neurotoxicity.
What's the first step?
Before scheduling an appointment for amalgam removal, you will come in for an initial consultation. This includes a comprehensive examination of your dental x-rays, a complete clinical exam, and a thorough review of your health history as well as a conversation about any concerns you may have, and your goals for your smile.
Dr. Lawson and her professional dental team consider each person individually and make recommendations based on your unique situation.
If you have any questions or are curious about the options available to replace your mercury silver fillings, give our office a call to set up an appointment for a consultation.
Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART)
How will you remove the mercury safely?
From your initial consultation to your beautiful new filling, our primary concern is your safety and health. Our dentists use SMART standards for mercury removal, following the IAOMT.org guidelines for safe amalgam removal. This includes:
- An amalgam separator to safely collect waste
- High-volume vacuum to mitigate mercury exposure
- Removing amalgam in large chunks to reduce exposure for you and for our staff
- Air filtration though salt lamps and constant office ventilation
- Regular copious use of water to reduce heat
- Suction to protect you from exposure
- External oxygen (via mask) available by request
- Non-latex nitrile gloves (office is latex-free)
- Protective barriers for you, the dentist, and the assistant
Why don't we place mercury silver fillings?
While our dentists are trained to skillfully and safely replace mercury fillings, we do not place new amalgam fillings. There are worldwide concerns about the safety of silver mercury fillings in regards to our whole body health as well as its long term impact on the environment. It is our decision as a naturally-minded dental practice to steer clear of this potentially toxic material.
As a green office, we strive to reduce our impact on the environment and dental mercury contributes about 28.5 tons of mercury into the environment every year. We select biocompatible, BPA and Bis-GMA free, tooth-colored composite materials for our patients in order to do our part to reduce mercury waste.
Furthermore, mercury itself has been potentially linked to various health effects, including cardiovascular problems, cognitive/neurological impairments, endocrine disruption, headaches, insomnia, immune system impairments, fatigue, psychological issues, respiratory problems, tremors, shyness, and weight loss, among others. To learn more about mercury research, visit IAOMT.org.
Beautiful and Biocompatible Restorations
What will replace the mercury silver filling?
Our office uses biocompatible composite materials for fillings that are BPA-free and bis-GMA free and look natural in the mouth. If crowns are recommended, then the most common materials we use are porcelains and biocompatible tooth-colored zirconia.
The results of these materials combined with the professional, cosmetic, and biological expertise of our dentists will deliver a beautiful and natural smile.
What if I have material sensitivities?
Dr. Lawson and her team put a lot of time and effort into researching and selecting the most biocompatible materials available, seeking to support your natural smile with the best options possible. If you are concerned about potential reactions to dental materials, we offer a Materials Reactivity Testing Kit through Clifford Labs. These tests may allow us to know the exact materials that will be best for you.
Mercury Detoxification Support
For patients seeking nutritional support in preparing for amalgam removal, we offer nutrition therapy as well as a mercury detoxification protocol led by our own in-office certified nutritionist, Jessie Black NC.
This involves a review of dietary and lifestyle habits as well as therapeutic supplement recommendations in order to:
- Maximize your body's ability to gently and naturally detoxify from heavy metal exposure
- Support healthy liver and GI function
- Improve natural chelation and elimination of mercury from the body
- Boost immune function in preparation for amalgam removal
- Reduce or eliminate additional burdens to your immune system in your diet and environment
- Minimize symptoms associated with mercury exposure and boost overall health and vitality through whole foods and targeted supplementation
If you are interested in nutritional detoxification in preparation for your amalgam replacements, please reach out to our office to schedule a visit with our nutritionist, Jessie.
We recommend going through this protocol a month or so before you replace your amalgam fillings for maximum benefit, but it can support your health and detoxification at any stage.
Curious to learn more?
Contact our office to set up an initial consultation - we look forward to hearing from you!