What is an amalgam filling?
Amalgam fillings are often referred to as metal or silver fillings and are a blend of mercury, silver and other metals such as copper, tin and zinc. Amalgam fillings are still used in dental practices today but a number of factors have led to a decline in use. Factors include a lingering concern about detrimental health effects, environmental pollution, and amalgams causing cracks in teeth as well as better aesthetic options. In modern dentistry composite resin or porcelain is usually the material of choice.
If your amalgam fillings aren’t aesthetically pleasing or are causing cracks in your teeth, they can be replaced with tooth-coloured fillings. During your consultation your dental practitioner will discuss your desired outcomes and advise whether replacement of your amalgam fillings is suitable.
Removal of amalgam fillings
Amalgam removal needs to be done carefully to ensure we minimise the risk of swallowing the debris which must be disposed of safely. Proper isolation and high volume suction are critical in the removal of amalgam. At bc dental we prefer to use a rubber dam sheet to protect you from the amalgam debris and you can breath pure oxygen to avoid any inhalation.
We care about the environment we live in, so we've made sure our disposal methods are safe. We use a state-of-the-art suction system that separates 99% of the amalgam into a separate trap before letting waste fluids down the drain. This mercury amalgam residue gets trapped in a special filter and then disposed of according to Australian standards.