My mother-in-law says she only goes to mercury-free dentists. I noticed my dentist’s website doesn’t say he’s mercury-free. Does that mean I’m getting mercury in my treatment? I don’t want to seem difficult by calling the office and asking, but I’m not too keen about the idea of there being mercury in my dental work.
When you’re talking about mercury in your dental work, the main culprit is amalgam fillings. While they’re commonly called silver fillings, that’s more a marketing tactic. In reality, they’re mostly made up of mercury. While the American Dental Association (ADA) insists tests have proved mercury to be completely safe in fillings, many patients feel these tests haven’t been done under real world conditions and prefer to avoid amalgam fillings.
Some dentists advertise as mercury-free dentists so potential patients know they will only get composite fillings there. Composite fillings are commonly called white fillings and have zero mercury in them. Patients know they won’t have to worry about the old amalgam fillings if they go to a mercury-free dentist.
Just because your dentist doesn’t advertise as a mercury-free dentist doesn’t necessarily mean he’s giving you fillings that contain it. As long as you’re getting white fillings, you don’t have to worry about any mercury content. It’s the silver fillings that have them.
If you have silver fillings and you’re worried about the mercury content, you could asked to have them removed and replaced. However, make sure whoever you have remove them knows how to do a sanitary amalgam removal. Without that, you’re likely to inhale some mercury vapors.
If your dentist doesn’t have a stopper dam and other equipment for a sanitary removal, you can simply go to a mercury-free dentist. They’ll know the proper procedure.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Raymond Bolt.