When an urgent problem arises, you should see an emergency dentist as soon as you can. Any dental emergency can be potentially serious which is why it is important to seek immediate medical care. Several things constitute a dental emergency, including a toothache. Read on to learn more about a toothache and when to see…
General Dentistry FAQs: Amalgam Removal
When you think of general dentistry, filling cavities probably comes to mind. If you have tooth decay, your dentist will remove it and fill up the space with strong material to protect the tooth from further damage. Today, many dentists and patients prefer colored fillings made of composite resin or porcelain. If you have a silver or mercury amalgam filling, you should consider removing it.
Why people remove amalgam fillings
For many years, silver and mercury amalgam fillings were the standard in general dentistry to repair cavities. More recently, however, dentists and researchers have discovered possible health risks with these materials. Contact with mercury, in particular, may contribute to memory loss, mood disorders, headaches and muscle weakness. Some fillings consist of 50% mercury in addition to other metals. For peace of mind, many patients prefer to remove old amalgam fillings. Also, these fillings stand out, so some patients would rather have tooth-colored fillings that other people would not notice.
When people decide it is time to get rid of old metal fillings, they will meet with the dentist to discuss the next steps. Because of the health risks that mercury poses, the dentist and staff will wear protective gear during the filling removal process. This gear includes a mask, gown and gloves. The patient also wears protection. It is important that the person in the chair has eye protection, facial protection and a full-body gown. The dentist will also place a rubber dam in the patient’s mouth, over the teeth.
General dentistry and removal process
It is important that any general dentistry practice has the right equipment and materials to properly remove the amalgam. In addition to taking precautions with gear, the staff should have ventilation and filtration. There should also be a way to collect the mercury waste. The dentist uses extreme care and caution to remove the amalgam. Using dental tools, the dentist will then pull out the filling.
After the procedure
With the old filling gone, it is important for the general dentistry staff to restore the tooth and put in new fillings. The dentist will likely use a ceramic filling to blend in with the tooth’s color. After finishing the new filling, the dentist will ask the patient to bite down to see if any adjustments need to be made. Some dentists may prefer to put a crown over the tooth if the damage is more significant. The patient should be able to eat normally within a few hours.
End your worries
There is legitimate concern over having metal fillings in your mouth. If you would like to feel at ease knowing you do not have mercury exposure, visit your dentist today. Part of general dentistry includes dealing with restorative care. Your dentist should be able to take out these older fillings and replace them with tooth-colored ceramic or porcelain options. Rest assured that when you undergo this work that the dentist will take every precaution necessary to protect you from harm and ill effects. Make an appointment today to take out amalgam fillings.
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