West Palm Beach dentist offers SMART mercury filling removal
According to Statistic Brain, an independent research firm, 78 percent of our population has had at least one cavity by the age of 17. Naturally, that figure increases with age. Thus, most American adults have fillings, and many of them are silver-colored amalgam which contains about 50 percent mercury. For those who want amalgam taken out for aesthetic reasons or potential health benefits, Dr. Elizabeth Keith offers safe mercury filling removal at Pure Dental Care in West Palm Beach.
Safe mercury filling removal: West Palm Beach dentist explains why it is important
Mercury is a known neurotoxin, affecting the central and peripheral nervous systems, digestive and immune systems, lungs, kidneys, skin, and eyes. Mercury can be taken into the body by ingesting particles, absorbed through the skin, or inhaled as a vapor. The human body is not well-equipped to flush this toxin, so it bioaccumulates in organs and tissues, over a lifetime.
Friction releases odorless, tasteless mercury vapor from amalgam fillings, allowing it to be breathed into the body. This can occur from chewing, bruxism (clenching and grinding teeth), aggressive brushing, or from dental treatment.
While you may choose to reduce chronic exposure to mercury by having amalgam fillings removed, having them simply ground out can cause more harm than benefit. Without proper safeguards, you are exposed to a heightened risk of ingestion, inhalation, and absorption from flying particles of amalgam and mercury vapor from drilling. Dr. Keith suggests a safer alternative – the SMART method.
SMART dental care
The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology is a global leader in scientific research that supports safety in healthcare. The IAOMT developed SMART (Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique) guidelines to aid dentists is providing a higher level of protection – for patients, dental staff, and the environment – during amalgam removal procedures.
Here are a few of the key facets of the SMART protocol safeguarding patients:
- Treatment rooms have a powerful air filtration system to reduce indoor mercury vapor concentrations.
- You rinse with and swallow a solution of chlorella or charcoal. Mercury molecules bond to these chelating elements, helping to eliminate them from the body.
- Exposed skin and clothing is covered with protective garments.
- You breathe fresh (not treatment room) air through a nose mask or nasal cannula throughout the procedure.
- A non-latex (nitrile) dental dam provides a barrier, keeping amalgam out of the throat and nasal passages.
- An ejector placed beneath the dam keeps the mouth clear of contaminated saliva.
- A vacuum system close to the mouth removes mercury vapor.
- Amalgam fillings are cut into chunks, so that they may be removed in large sections, dramatically reducing need for grinding.
- A great deal of water is used during the procedure. This keeps amalgam cooler, reducing mercury emissions. Water and amalgam waste is continually suctioned with a high-speed evacuation device.
- Your mouth is thoroughly flushed with additional large amounts of water, followed by another charcoal or chlorella slurry.
- Fillings are replaced with metal-free composite resin material or porcelain crowns that look natural and contain no mercury.
Mercury exposure is an on-going health concern for dental professionals, and without SMART precautions, the toxin can be transferred to patients. Our team wears protective gowns, nitrile gloves, face shields, and head coverings, and we breathe through sealed respiratory masks with fresh airflow
We work hard to safeguard the environment, as well. Pure Dental Care has installed separators that remove amalgam from water used in procedures, keeping mercury out of public wastewater systems. We comply with stringent local, state, and federal regulations for handling and disposal of items contaminated with mercury, and for cleaning the office.
Dr. Keith is a member of the IAOMT and is certified in SMART. This means she has completed study in mercury hazards and safe amalgam removal methods. Coursework includes scientific texts, video learning, and stringent testing. When you choose an IAOMT SMART-certified dentist, you are assured that this individual has advanced education in utilization of rigorous safety measures for amalgam removal, as well as a serious commitment to patent welfare. Dr. Keith stays current with updates to the program through continuing education.
As a biological dental practice, Pure Dental Care is committed to the overall health of patients. We provide treatment using the safest available materials and techniques. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Keith to learn more about safe mercury filling removal. The number in West Palm Beach is (855) 883-0355.