Mercury-free dentist in Sacramento, CA emphasizes the bigger picture
Holistic dentistry is not an official area of specialization. Rather, it describes an approach to dental care that recognizes the intimate connection between oral health and overall wellness. Thus, among dentists who depict themselves as holistic, biological, or natural, a broad range of philosophies and services is represented. Mercury-free is a good example. Sacramento Natural Dentistry shares this information to help individuals in the Sacramento, CA area make an informed choice when choosing a dentist.
Understanding mercury-free dentistry
There is a common misconception about the silver-colored filling material which has been widely used in this country since the 1800s. Many people believe it is made primarily of silver. They assume that manufacturers stopped putting mercury into amalgam, and dentists stopped putting it into people’s mouths, a long time ago since mercury is a known neurotoxin. However, that is not true. Amalgam is made up of about 50 percent mercury. Friction from brushing your teeth, chewing, nighttime bruxing, and conventional teeth cleaning causes silver-colored fillings to release mercury vapor that is inhaled.
While there is a growing movement away from amalgam, an estimated 48 percent of general dentists in this country still place silver fillings. Many of the remainder have switched to tooth-colored composite filling materials for their aesthetic superiority, rather than the potential wellness benefits. Yet mercury-free dentistry – not filling teeth with amalgam – is only half of the equation for avoiding dental mercury toxicity.
Sacramento Natural Dentistry is a mercury-free AND mercury-safe practice. We do not place amalgam fillings, opting instead for biofriendly composites and porcelain restorations that blend seamlessly with your smile. In addition, we follow strict IAOMT guidelines for safe removal of amalgam. This is done at the request of the patient, or when an amalgam filling (or tooth structure surrounding it) fails.
The conventional method of grinding a silver filling out is extremely hazardous. Friction from the drill heats the mercury and releases a storm of vapor and bits of amalgam. This method significantly elevates mercury levels in the air of the treatment room (potentially to more than 200 times the maximum government regulatory agencies deem allowable) and puts the patient at risk of ingesting mercury. Bits of the material also end up on skin and clothing.
Mercury-safe dentistry is an all-embracing concept, with many detailed facets. It includes:
- Special instrumentation to ensure air quality in the operatory during the procedure.
- Protective garments for the patient and dental team.
- Extra precautions to contain mercury particles.
- Fillings are cut into chunks that can be lifted out with minimal drilling.
- Amalgam is cooled with water spray throughout treatment.
- True mercury-safe protocols protect the environment, too, keeping amalgam out of public waste water.
Why choose a mercury-free dentist in Sacramento, CA?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a federal regulatory agency charged with protecting the welfare of employees in the workplace, in theory supports mercury-safe practices. Dental offices are, of course, subject to OSHA standards to safeguard dental assistants and office staff – but not the dentist or patients! Although the dental industry is the second biggest user of elemental mercury in this country, it is the only one not monitored for mercury vapor. That means you cannot count on a general practice’s OSHA compliance to protect you. By choosing a mercury-free and mercury-safe practice, you are assured of a voluntary high level of commitment to mercury-safe standards.
As a holistic dental practice, Sacramento Natural Dentistry goes even further to provide the safest, healthiest dental care possible. This comprehensive approach includes nutritional guidance and ozone therapy for natural disinfection and healing. Advanced laser techniques result in more comfortable, low stress dental treatment. Composite fillings contain the lowest available levels of BPA (barely trace amounts). The wellbeing of the entire patient is considered with treatment for sleep apnea and TMJ disorders. Our team also grasps the importance of emotional balance to overall wellness. Sedation helps many people get the dental care they need without anxiety, and cosmetic treatments build a feeling of confidence in their appearance.
There is more to whole-health dentistry than mercury-free. Call Sacramento Natural Dentistry to learn about an all-inclusive approach to a great smile that feels good. The number in Citrus Heights, CA is (916) 823-8585.
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