Mercury-Free and Mercury-Safe
Let me start by saying nothing is 100% biocompatible. Only God can make a tooth, and we repair it the next-best condition. The materials we choose are well tolerated by most people. The process of using these newer materials means we are able to preserve more good tooth structure. Bonded restorations become part of –and just as strong as– as natural tooth.
On the other hand, traditional silver colored mercury fillings are made up of 46-60% mercury, 15-35% silver, and small amounts of copper, zinc and other metals.
By itself, mercury is a toxic poison. It was once thought of as being bound to the other dissimilar metals in an amalgamation. Science has known for decades that the mercury component leaks or leaches out of the filling. This occurs whenever we chew, grind our teeth or drink something warm.
When old mercury fillings (the silver-colored kind) are removed, the mercury vapors can spread like a cloud in the treatment room. Small particulate crumbs can spray on the dentist, staff and the patient. While standard dental suction removes some of this, it is not nearly enough to protect the patient, the dentist and the assistant. The room environment can become contaminated, as can the water supply.
In the early 80’s, our initial mercury-protection measures were developed from industrial criteria. Today we use more advanced versions of those same protective measures as well as others standardized by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (www.IAOMT.org), OSHA and the DEQ.
If you have concerns, sensitivities or are referred by another health care provider, there are more sophisticated tests to help our doctors choose what is best for you. Click here for more info.