What are amalgam fillings?

Dental amalgam is a dental filling material, used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. Dental amalgam is commonly used, as it is a more cost-effective option than white or resin-based fillings and are often more durable. Dental amalgam is comprised of a mixture of metals including liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin and copper.

Potential risk of dental amalgam

Dental amalgam contains elemental mercury. It releases low levels of mercury in the form of a vapour that can potentially be inhaled and absorbed by the lungs. High levels of mercury vapour exposure can be associated with adverse effects in the brain and kidneys. Dental amalgam, however releases only low levels of mercury vapour and it is considered to be safe for adults and children above the age of six. The developing neurological systems in foetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapour.

Safe removal of amalgam

Dentists often remove amalgam fillings for many reasons, such as containing potential noxious mercury. They are aesthetically unappealing and can corrode or leak over time. Practitioners should abide by certain protocols when removing amalgam from the mouth. At Tewantin Dental, we ensure patients undergo safe mercury amalgam removal. 

We ensure the safety of our patients and the environment by:

  • using tungsten carbide burs to remove amalgam, which minimises any heat generated, helps to reduce vapours released and shortens the length of the procedure.
  • a rubber dam is used to prevent inhalation and ingestion of harmful debris during the removal process.
  • high strength evacuation avoids mercury recirculation and inhalation.
  • the mercury is disposed of in an environmentally conscious way.

Make an appointment today with one of our friendly dentists

Looking for a dentist near you? We cover the Tewantin, Noosa, Cooroy and surrounding suburbs and easily located in the heart of Tewantin. Whether you are new patient or a returning patient we would love to help you, please call (07) 5447 1361 to speak to our friendly team. You can also contact us online.

Tewantin Dental Centre is open every weekday Monday to Friday from 8.00am–5.00pm. We're looking forward to seeing you soon!