Every dentist has his/her own opinions about mercury based on education, experiences, and sources of trade and scientific information. Some dentists do not use mercury because it is known to be harmful, while others defend it because they were taught in the past to believe it is not dangerous.
For those dentists who do recognize the risks of mercury, there are a variety of practice philosophies that exist. That’s why it is essential to acknowledge the specific aims of each of these types of dentistry:
- “Mercury-free” is a term with a wide range of implications, but it typically refers to dental practices that do not place dental mercury amalgam fillings.
- “Mercury-safe” typically refers to dental practices that use rigorous safety measures to limit or prevent mercury exposure, such as in the case of removing previously existing dental mercury amalgam fillings and replacing them with non-mercury alternatives.
- “Biological” or “Biocompatible” dentistry typically refers to dental practices that utilize mercury-free and mercury-safe dentistry while also considering the impact of dental conditions, devices, and treatments on oral and systemic health, including the biocompatibility of dental materials and techniques.
Over 100 countries, including the U.S., have agreed on the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)’s “Minamata Convention on Mercury,” which is a global treaty that calls for phasing down the use of mercury, including the mercury in dental amalgam. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently passed a guideline that prevents dentists from releasing amalgam/mercury waste down the drain. Keep up to date on the regulations by visiting this website and the IAOMT website so that you can share this information with your dentist, other health practitioners, family, and friends!
If you have further questions about dental mercury, please contact the office of Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth at 817-361-1999 or complete our online form today!