Safe Removal of Mercury Amalgam Fillings
The patient is covered from the head to below the knees. The special face covering allows us to place a rubber dam in the mouth and connect a nasal cannula (oxygen tube). The cannula allows for the delivery of humidified oxygen to generate a positive pressure to push mercury vapor out of the mouth.
A tabletop mercury filter is used in the operatory, in addition to the large combination HEPA ultraviolet mercury filter we have for our entire office. A mercury ionizer behind the patient’s head acts to trap mercury ions in a stream captured by an electrified plate positioned at the patient’s feet. A large vacuum unit is positioned under the patient’s lower lip to gather particulate mercury.
Both doctor and assistant wear gowns and respirators.
Once the entire filling is removed, the area is irrigated with ozonated water and different agents that will help chelate mercury out of the tissue.
At this point, the procedure is a routine: filling, inlay or crown, depending upon the extent of damage to the tooth. For all patients, we use a rinse of NDFplus to help capture any loose mercury before completion.