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Amalgam fillings, also known as “silver fillings,” are an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, and tin. Mercury is classified as a neurotoxin. It has also been found to be harmful to the kidneys, lungs, liver and the gastrointestinal tract. On a daily basis, small amounts of mercury vapor are released from amalgam fillings. When an amalgam filling is removed, larger amounts of mercury vapor are released from the removal of that filling.

The safe mercury amalgam removal technique minimizes exposure to mercury vapor during an amalgam removal. It involves:

  • A rubber dam to isolate the tooth from the mouth
  • A high-volume air filtration system
  • A separate source of oxygen
  • Copious amounts of water
  • High volume suction
  • An impermeable barrier placed over the patient
  • A charcoal rinse
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