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How to Find a Mercury-Safe Dentist: Questions to Ask

  1. What does the doctor use for filling materials?
    The answer should be a composite resin or a porcelain ceramic material.
  2. When does he or she use mercury/amalgam fillings?
    The answer needs to be NEVER.
  3. What special protocols are used for removal of mercury/amalgam fillings?
    You want to hear a list of the safety protocols and that the staff has been trained in them. Standard safety procedures include the use of a dental dam, two types of oral suction, a protective nasal oxygen source, room ionizers for mercury vapors, and protective eyewear.
  4. How does the doctor protect himself and the staff during mercury/amalgam removal?
    The dentist and assistant(s) should wear special breathing masks to keep mercury vapors out, and head and body coverings to protect from mercury particulates.
  5. Does the dentist use a dental dam during the removal of mercury fillings?
    The dental dam will significantly reduce the mercury vapor exposure, as well as reduce your chance of swallowing mercury particles.
  6. Are there special techniques for removing large mercury/amalgams?
    Mercury fillings should be removed by quartering each filling into pieces. They may call this "chunking." There should be a constant spray of copious amounts of water during the drilling process, with all suctions in place.
  7. What does he do about the vapor collection in the treatment rooms?
    Mercury ionizer filters should be available to collect the mercury vapor in each treatment room.
  8. What is done in his office to prevent the mercury from getting into the water supply?
    There are mercury collectors to keep the mercury from going into the municipal water. There are only a few cities in the country that have a mandate requiring dental offices to comply. This impacts and protects the environment. Does this office comply?
  9. What precautions are taken so that the patient breathes clean air during mercury/amalgam removal?
    Breathing air from a nosepiece connected to breathing air or oxygen supply prevents you from breathing the mercury vapors during the removal procedure.
  10. What water source is used for the water syringes and hand pieces?
    A “closed water supply” is ideal because it uses only bottles of sterile water running through the syringes and hand pieces.
  11. Does the doctor use any form of dental material compatibility testing for sensitivity to the new materials to be used?
    If you are sick, have multiple chemical sensitivities or have a compromised immune system, best care is to have compatibility sensitivity testing of any dental material that might be used. The doctor must be supportive in using those materials compatible for you.
  12. Where did the doctor train on the protocol for safe mercury removal?
    Mercury-safe guidelines for dental offices and mercury safe removal protocol are not taught in dental school. The following are education sources for certification in safe mercury removal and also in creating a mercury safe dental environment:

    To learn more about mercury-safe dentistry, visit Dr. Tom McGuire's DentalWellness4u.com and TALK International.

  13. Does his or her office support the patient seeing someone for mercury detoxification and nutritional support?
    Your dental doctor can remove the mercury from your teeth but may not able to directly address the importance of detoxification and nutritional support before, during and after mercury removal. In that case, ideally, he or she will work closely with allied physicians and other healing practitioners to coordinate these parts of the detoxification process.

*** Many offices go above and beyond the protocols for safe mercury removal and follow a sequential removal based on the amperage of the fillings and attention to the 7 day immune cycle protocol.

*** This list can go on to include how the dental room and instruments are sterilized. You need to feel that the highest precautions are used.

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