In the field of dentistry, SMART stands for the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique. Dentists can receive certification in this technique through the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). Due to the traces of toxic mercury found in amalgam fillings, it’s integral that dentists follow the recommended safety guidelines during the removal procedure.
What Does It Mean to Be a SMART Dentist?
Many patients are unaware of this specific certification and may wonder why it matters. Dentists who value promoting mercury-free or mercury-safe dentistry often find themselves continuing their education and practice to stay up to date with new techniques that can keep their patients and staff safe and healthy. All About Smiles tries to promote natural approaches to taking care of your oral health, which goes hand in hand with being SMART certified.
Safe removal practices include having proper ventilation, protective gear for both the patient and staff, water irritation, and high-volume suctioning to dispose of any loose particles. At this time, the IAOMT recommends against pregnant or breastfeeding women having amalgam fillings removed or otherwise disrupted.
Since the initial popularity of using mercury in fillings, other materials have become more standard across the dental industry. Resin-based composites and porcelain are often used these days, as they’re highly durable and pose no risk of mercury exposure to the doctor or patient.
The Importance of Safe Mercury Removal
As information concerning the harms of mercury began coming to light, people started to become concerned about their silver fillings. Nearly 50% of dental amalgam fillings are made from liquid mercury, with the other half being made of silver, tin, and copper. Mercury was originally used to create a durable, solid filling.
Dental amalgam fillings may potentially release small amounts of mercury, depending on the number of fillings and their age. Harmful habits such as grinding your teeth and not-so-harmful habits such as chewing gum may cause more of the vapor to be released from the fillings. Certain segments of the population, such as pregnant women, nursing mothers, and people with an allergy to mercury are more susceptible to the potential side effects of such fillings.
Though uncommon, signs of excessive mercury exposure can include:
Your SMART Certified Dentist in Wilmington, DE
When you visit All About Smiles, you can rest assured that your doctors are trusted providers in the field of holistic dentistry. We use biocompatible materials whenever possible, which enables a patient to leave our office feeling whole, happy, healthy, and in harmony with their body. Dr. Lewis Yu and Dr. Grace Liu are a SMART-certified team, allowing us to safely remove old, failing amalgam fillings.
It all adds up to better health, smile, body, and spirit!