SMART stands for Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique. Silver amalgam fillings can contain up to 50% mercury, a substance that can cause a slew of health issues. With SMART, we can safely remove your amalgam fillings to ensure your continued overall health.
Many patients choose SMART amalgam removal because they are uncomfortable with the idea of having a filling that contains mercury, a toxic chemical. In this procedure, your dentist can remove your old filling safely, replace it with a non-toxic composite filing, and get you back to your day-to-day routine in just 1-2 hours.
Mercury toxicity was not widely understood until the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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A SMART certification from the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT) is only granted to dentists who complete rigorous training, and must be renewed yearly to ensure members are up-to-date with the latest advancements in mercury amalgam removal.
After your amalgam filling is removed, we will replace it with a tooth-colored filling made from non-toxic, biocompatible, composite materials. Not only are they safe, but they can be color-matched to blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
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Some patients find that metal fillings make their teeth sensitive, since metal conducts heat more effectively than other materials like composite fillings. That means that removing your metal fillings could also help reduce tooth sensitivity.
Amalgam fillings have a silver-gray color, and can discolor your teeth. Removing them and replacing them with composite tooth-colored fillings can improve your smile.
While it’s been shown to be relatively safe when used in fillings, many patients are uncomfortable with having toxic mercury in their teeth. With SMART amalgam removal, you can stop worrying and get rid of your old dental work once and for all.
SMART amalgam removal involves lots of safety protocols for you and your dental team. They will place a barrier around your tooth, and give you an oxygen mask. You’ll breathe through this mask to avoid toxic fumes. They will also place several different suction devices that will remove and filter mercury and other particles during your procedure. Then, they’ll numb your mouth and clean the treatment area.
Next, your Bellflower dentist will begin removing the filling. They will use special tools to cut it into chunks and remove it piece-by-piece. Suction and water will be used to cool the site and dilute any mercury fumes. The filling is removed in large chunks to minimize the amount of mercury that’s spread during the procedure.
Once your old filling has been removed, your dentist will clean up the area and apply a new composite filling. They will shape, sculpt, and mold this filling to fit into your tooth perfectly, restoring its shape and function. They’ll test the fit and make any final necessary adjustments. Then, you’ll be sent home to enjoy your new filling.
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No. The entire area surrounding the tooth will be numb throughout the process. You may be able to feel slight pressure from the drill, but you should not feel any pain. In some cases, sedation options may be available to you to help keep you blissfully unaware and relaxed during your SMART procedure. If you’re interested in exploring your options for sedation, book a consultation with your doctor today!
The length of the procedure will vary based on each patient's unique needs. The size and amount of metal fillings being removed will have an effect on the length of the procedure. However, it usually takes about the same amount of time as having a filling placed per tooth.
In some cases your metal filling removal may be covered by your insurance if it is determined to be a necessary treatment as opposed to an elective one. If you are looking to have your metal fillings removed for cosmetic reasons alone and they are deemed to be in good condition and not posing a threat to your health, you may incur some out of pocket fees. To better understand your insurance coverage, contact your provider. Our team is also happy to answer any questions you may have to ensure you are getting the most out of your dental insurance benefits.
In most cases metal fillings will need to be removed. This is usually due to the age of the filling. Now, most dentists use composite fillings so it is likely that if you have a metal filling, it may be failing. This can lead to additional tooth decay, so it is important to have your fillings checked to see if they are functioning properly. On top of any potential tooth decay, it is usually safer to have metal fillings removed proactively to lessen the risk of developing mercury poisoning (and its side effects) in the future.