The Safe Removal of Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam is an alloy made up of 50% mercury. In case of inadequate protection when changing or repairing amalgam fillings, mercury vapours and large or small particles of the amalgam can be released into the environment, which can be swallowed or inhaled.

Because mercury is harmful, it is very important that we follow a strict protocol to remove the amalgam, which reduces the intake of mercury. To protect the patient, this protocol covers the following recommendations:

  • a special process for removing amalgam fillings, in which the filling is only cut and then we remove the pieces of amalgam with a hand instrument;
  • the use of special carbide drills, which, in contrast to diamond drills, crush the amalgam into larger pieces; with this, the release of small particles into the environment is significantly reduced, while the increased roughness of the carbide drill shortens the time of the removal and thus the release of mercury vapours during drilling is smaller.
  • excessive cooling with water while removing the amalgam filler further reduces the release of mercury vapours; 
  • the use of a special attachment for the aspirator, which envelops the tooth from which the amalgam filling is removed, significantly reduces the release of amalgam fragments into the environment;
  • the use of an oral membrane that embraces the teeth and prevents particles of amalgam from getting into the mouth;
  • the use of the IQAir Dental HG air purifier with the FlexVac tube, which allows us to aspirate the air at the mouth of the patient and thus extract all mercury vapours;
  • covering the skin of the face and eyes prevents particles of amalgam from falling onto the skin;
  • the use of an additional nasal mask for patients preventing the inhalation of Hg-vapours;
  • the best possible ventilation of the room further reduces the possibility of exposure to mercury vapours and particles.

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