Mercury Does Not Belong in the MouthDec 01, 2023 12:17PM ● By Dr. John Kempter
Dental amalgam safety has been debated for more than 150 years, especially regarding the mercury used in fillings. In September 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a statement acknowledging the risks posed to certain high-risk groups of people, saying, “These uncertainties in the most vulnerable patients are why today we are recommending people who may be at high risk for adverse health effects of mercury exposure use non-mercury alternatives to dental amalgam such as composite resins and glass ionomer cement fillings. Dental amalgam-related mercury vapor release may be highest during placement or removal of the filling.”
Alternatives to amalgam include composite resin, ceramic, gold and other options. Most consumers choose direct composite fillings because the white coloring matches the tooth better and the cost is considered moderate.
Another choice for dental patients concerned about which alternative to use as a filling material is to perform a dental biocompatibility test. A blood sample is evaluated by a laboratory for the presence of antibodies sensitive to the chemical ingredients used in dental products. The patient is then provided with a detailed list of which dental materials are safe for their use and which could result in a reaction.
The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) provides certification in the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART), which follows the IAOMT research-based protocol. Some of the standards include rubber dam isolation, a separate oxygen source for patients, high-volume suction and dental air vacuum. The doctor and assistant wear vapor masks.
John Kempter is an accredited IAOMT dentist and the owner of Kempter Dentistry, located at 1000 Copperfield Blvd., Ste. 160, in Concord, and 3111 Springbank Ln., Ste. F1, in Charlotte. For appointments and more information, call 704-782-0797, email [email protected] or visit KempterDentistry.com.
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