Discover the benefits of mercury safe dentistry with holistic dental services in Richmond, VA
For years, the mouth was thought of and treated separately from the rest of the body. The teeth, gums, and oral cavity were treated without considering the impact on the entire patient. Located in Richmond, VA, Dr. Olivia Hart of Richmond Family Dentistry offers holistic dental services as part of a commitment to care for the whole patient. As part of this commitment, our team provides mercury safe dental treatment to protect our patients’ health. Mercury safe dentistry comes with benefits to preserve our patients’ wellness.
Mercury safe dentistry
There have been concerns about the dangers of mercury for years. Mercury occurs naturally. It is poisonous and non-radioactive. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that mercury is dangerous at any level, even in small amounts. Mercury toxicity has been linked to kidney, neurological, and pregnancy medical problems.
Unfortunately, the known dangers of mercury have not stopped it from being used in dental amalgam fillings to treat decayed teeth. Dental amalgam contains a mixture of metals in which mercury may be 50 percent of the mixture. The other metals are often copper, tin, and silver. Mercury binds the metals to create a strong material. Amalgam fillings are often used because they are thought to be less expensive, easy to insert, and sturdy. Unfortunately, this brings a cost to the individual’s overall health and wellbeing.
Our team understands the connection between the mouth and body. What enters the mouth, good or bad, affects the rest of the body. Mercury is a toxic substance. When used in amalgam fillings, the mercury vapors are continually released. When you chew, brush, or stimulate your teeth, vapors are released. The fillings can warp with extreme temperatures resulting in damage to the tooth. Over time, the body becomes less able to remove mercury. This results in a buildup of mercury in the body and potential health problems.
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Benefits of mercury safe dentistry
The terms mercury safe and mercury free are not the same and are not interchangeable. Mercury free practices avoid the use of amalgam fillings. However, they may still follow standard protocol to remove the fillings using a drill. The mercury may not be properly handled or disposed of in a safe manner. Dental practices that are mercury safe follow the strict protocol in handling hazardous materials to protect the health of the patients, dental staff, and the environment. At Richmond Family Dentistry, we maintain a mercury free, mercury safe environment.
Our dental team understands the risks of mercury and dental amalgam. We acknowledge the dangers of toxic materials and their impact on the body and the environment. Amalgam fillings are not used. Instead, we place composite or tooth-colored fillings to restore decayed teeth. When requested, patients can have their current amalgam fillings removed. This is done by following the specific directions laid out by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).
Standard removal of fillings involves drilling which exposes the patient and dental staff to hazardous mercury vapors. Our holistic, mercury safe practice enacts regulations before, during, and after amalgam filling removal to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. This strict protocol includes:
- Using an amalgam separator to collect mercury waste
- Removing airborne vapors by using an advanced ventilation system
- Protecting the dental staff from mercury particles by wearing protective gowns, gloves, and masks
- Having the patient chew charcoal before and after the procedure to absorb mercury residue
- Using a dental dam and oxygen mask on the patient to avoid the inhalation of vapors
After amalgam fillings are removed, the teeth can be restored with composite fillings. These fillings are a metal-free, durable alternative to dental amalgam. Advantages of composite fillings include the following:
- Patients avoid the risk of mercury toxicity.
- Composite fillings strengthen decayed teeth.
- The material is durable and long-lasting. It can withstand the normal functions of a tooth.
- Amalgam fillings make the teeth appear grayish in color. Composite materials are tooth-colored. They blend in and appear natural giving an aesthetically pleasing result.
Our team follows practices that protect the health of our patients by using materials and procedures that are free of toxins. To learn more about our holistic dental services, contact Richmond Family Dentistry. Call (804) 381-6238 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Hart.