Dentist in Sebastopol, CA discusses benefits of mercury safe care
For years, the mouth was thought of separately from the rest of the body. The teeth, gums, and oral cavity were assessed and treated without knowledge or consideration of the impact on the rest of the body. With increased awareness of the mouth and body connection, patients are searching for a dentist with the same understanding. In Sebastopol, CA, Dr. Silvano Senn and Dr. Toni Mann maintain a mercury safe dental practice to protect their patients’ health. The benefits of mercury-free dental practices are innumerable as they ensure your oral and overall health.
Why choose a mercury safe dentist?
Concerns about the toxicity of mercury have been raised for years. Mercury is poisonous, non-radioactive, and naturally occurring. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that mercury is not safe at any level as even the smallest amount can cause harm. This toxic substance has been linked to a number of health issues including neurological and kidney problems.
However, mercury continues to be used in amalgam fillings which some dentists use to treat decayed teeth. Amalgam fillings consist of metals, generally mercury, tin, silver, and copper. Mercury is the binding agent to create a strong material. Silver amalgam fillings are often used because they may be less expensive, are inserted quickly, and are considered durable. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost.
By acknowledging the link between the mouth and body, we understand that everything that goes in your mouth, good or bad, affects your physiology. Mercury is toxic. Amalgam fillings continually release toxic vapors. If they break, more mercury is released. Extreme temperature changes can cause the metal in the fillings to warp resulting in structural damage to the tooth. Over time the body loses its ability to effectively remove mercury. This may result in symptoms of mercury poisoning and health problems.
Benefits of mercury-free dental practices
The terms mercury safe and mercury-free are not interchangeable. Practices that are only mercury-free avoid the use of amalgam fillings. Unfortunately, these practices may follow the standard protocol learned in dental school for removing these fillings. Meanwhile, mercury safe dental practices follow strict safety protocol to remove and dispose of the hazardous materials. At Sonoma Whole Health Dentistry, Dr. Mann and Dr. Senn maintain a mercury-free, mercury safe practice to maintain the health of patients, staff, and the environment.
Our dentists understand the risks of mercury in amalgam fillings. Mercury-free, mercury safe practices, like ours, acknowledge the dangers of the toxic metal and understand that dentists contribute to the health of their patients and the environment. Mercury fillings are not available here. At the same time, when an amalgam filling needs to be replaced, it is removed with added safety precautions and practices laid out by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).
When amalgam fillings are removed, specific mercury-safe regulations are enacted before, during, and after the procedure. Standard procedures involve drilling to remove the filling. This exposes the patient, dental team, and environment to harmful mercury vapors above a level that the government considers to be safe. Instead, our team follows the IAOMT’s guidelines to protect the health and safety of the patient, dentist, and staff. Some of the safety measures include:
- An amalgam separator is utilized to collect waste.
- State-of-the-art ventilation equipment removes airborne vapor.
- Dental personnel use protective gear including gowns, gloves, and masks.
- Charcoal is given to the patient before and immediately after the procedure. The patient chews and swallows this to absorb mercury residue.
- The patient wears a dental dam and oxygen mask to avoid ingesting or inhaling mercury vapors.
Using composite fillings
Whether replacing old fillings or placing new, our practice uses composite or tooth-colored fillings. There are a number of advantages of composite fillings.
- Patients avoid the risk of mercury toxicity.
- Composite fillings restore tooth strength.
- The fillings are more aesthetically pleasing as they blend in and appear natural. Silver amalgam fillings give the tooth a grayish color.
At Sonoma Whole Health Dentistry, we are committed to protecting the health of our patients, staff, and the environment. Our dentists have extensive training and knowledge of dental practices that are free of toxic materials
Contact Dr. Silvano Senn and Dr. Toni Mann in their Sebastopol, CA office. Call 707 549-6333 .