Safe Mercury Removal in Nashville, TN
At Nashville Restorative Dentistry, we follow strict protocols to keep you safe when removing dangerous materials like mercury. Our team has intentionally chosen biocompatible resin and ceramic materials for tooth replacement. These materials support patient health, now and well into the future.
Explore what makes us 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 and dental crowns, and bridges made from porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) or gold were considered the “norm” to restore damaged teeth. While these metals were not aesthetically pleasing, nor did they replicate the natural appearance of a tooth, they were commonly accepted as the best solution to restore a decayed or otherwise damaged tooth. Dental professionals have vigorously debated the health risks and conditions that have resulted from various metals being present in patients’ mouths for extended periods.
Modern metal-free dentistry, as practiced by our team at Nashville Restorative Dentistry, eliminates the concern about metals of any type. We offer 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 says about the potential danger of mercury amalgam fillings.
Why Is Safe Mercury Removal Important?
Safe mercury removal involves using specially-developed protocols to minimize the exposure to mercury during the removal and replacement of amalgam fillings.
The silver-colored amalgam fillings that have traditionally been used (and are still used today by some practices) contain between 48% and 55% mercury, 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 mercury remained permanently trapped in the amalgam filling. We know better now. As people chew or grind down food or as the teeth are heated, these fillings emit mercury vapor that is absorbed by the body.
Since mercury is toxic even at very low levels, there is a growing concern that the mercury in fillings could significantly contribute to systemic health problems. Researchers found that even minimal amounts of mercury can cause organ damage and enzymatic, hormonal, cellular, and glandular damage. Scientific study findings have also demonstrated that mercury suppresses the body’s immune system.
Worldwide, the dental community is moving away from the mercury amalgam fillings of the past and towards better, safer options.
If you want to learn more, we have provided a few resources to explore:
- 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
Metal-free and mercury-safe dentistry is committed to using biocompatible materials to rebuild and replace damaged teeth. We exclusively use metal-free and BPA-free bonded composite resins (or “white fillings”) to repair cavities. We also restore teeth or disguise cosmetic imperfections with metal-free all-ceramic crowns, bridges, and veneers. Additionally, we can replace missing teeth with zirconia implants. Completely metal-free abutments and crowns then attach to the implant.
What If I Want My Old Mercury-Amalgam Fillings Removed?
That is understandable. You may want or need your toxic old fillings removed and replaced with a safer, modern alternative. Nashville Restorative Dentistry applies Huggins and IAOMT SMART protocol-based processes when partnering with each patient to minimize the risks of mercury exposure.
Safeguards and protocols include:
- Leading up to mercury removal, patients “pre-tox” with a three-day course of Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C.
- Patients’ hair, face, and body are covered with a disposable drape to prevent mercury particles from getting onto them or their clothing.
- An alternative air source (oxygen) is given to the patient via a nasal mask.
- A non-latex rubber dam is placed to isolate the affected teeth.
- The Dental AirVac is placed within eight inches of a patient’s mouth, providing a vacuum to eliminate and filtrate mercury vapors.
- A saliva ejector is placed under the dental dam during mercury filling removal to retrieve vapors that pass through the dental dam.
- High-volume suction and copious irrigation with water are used during the sectioning and removing 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 find their way into the intestines.
- We consider and evaluate supplements to detoxify and support immune system function and optimal health.
- A whole-office system of five HEPA filters is in constant use to provide the cleanest air possible.
- ·A centralized mercury separating unit collects 99% of mercury before it is passed into wastewater – so we safeguard the health of our patients, our team, and our community and planet!