What to Expect During Amalgam Filling Removal

Even though amalgam fillings were the standard for filling teeth for many years, many modern dentists have made the change to composite or resin fillings. Amalgam fillings contain mercury, which can pose a threat to the human body due to health concerns. At the office of doctors Herzog and Primomo, we not only don’t use amalgam fillings, but we also offer amalgam filling removal in Albany, NY.

The Preventative Steps

Removing mercury fillings should only be entrusted to a qualified dentist because mercury can pose risks to both the patient and the staff if not handled properly during the removal. Our dentists follow the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART), which means they will take several precautionary steps to make sure the procedure is safe, such as:

  • Placing a nitrile dam around the tooth
  • Using a stream of water to keep the filling cool during removal
  • Using a high-powered device to suction both vapors and particles out of the mouth

The Removal Process

Before removal begins, you will be connected to an alternate air supply so you do not inhale any vapors as the filling is removed. The dentist will use a small tool to break up the existing filling and the suction to remove the vapors and particles from your mouth. The dentist may use a small instrument that actually fits over the tooth that pulls all vapors and material in as soon as it is broken loose from your tooth.

The New Filling

With all of the amalgam filling removed, the dentist will take steps to further clean up the tooth and the cavity. This step helps to eradicate any bacteria but will also ensure no residual mercury-laden particles remain. The new filling will then be installed.

Need Help with Amalgam Filling Removal in Albany?

If you have amalgam fillings you need to be removed, it is important to work with a well-trained Albany dentist for help. Reach out to our office to schedule an appointment today.

Are Mercury Fillings Dangerous?

Decades ago, mercury fillings were the standard of dental care for treating cavities. As a result, millions of Americans now have mercury fillings in their mouths. However, in light of recent information and technological advances, it’s now understood that mercury fillings are dangerous. They can pose a health threat to the person who has them.

Dangers of Mercury Fillings

There is no safe threshold for human’s exposure to mercury. Even tiny amounts are very dangerous. Some of the dangers known to exist from mercury fillings include:

  • Higher chance of mercury poisoning
  • Danger to fetuses
  • Hearing loss
  • Thyroid problems
  • Neurological impairment
  • Immune system impairment
  • Insomnia
  • And many more…

There’s absolutely zero question about the dangers of mercury fillings. Experts all agree on this issue.

Should You Have Mercury Fillings Removed?

Mercury is an element that emits dangerous vapors. Inhalation of these vapors is just as dangerous—if not more so—than having the mercury fillings themselves. Unfortunately, when mercury fillings are removed, those vapors are released.

Therefore, there is a debate as to whether or not those who already have mercury fillings should have them removed. On the one hand, having mercury fillings poses a health threat. But on the other hand, removing the fillings also poses a health threat. Who can say whether one threat is worse than the other? Your dentist in Albany can help you determine whether or not your mercury fillings should stay put or whether it might be worth considering having them removed. In general, if the mercury fillings appear to be stable, it might make sense not to touch them. However, your Albany dentist is the expert, so you can rely on their expertise to help guide you in your ultimate decision.

If you have questions about what to do about your mercury fillings, please contact us today.


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What is Ozone Therapy in Dentistry and How does it Work?  

When they hear the word “ozone,” most people do not immediately think of dentistry. Ozone is the layer of atmosphere that protects earth from the sun, but it also plays a role in dentistry.

Ozone is a colorless gas that has strong antibacterial and wound healing properties. Specifically, ozone is a molecule that consists of three oxygen atoms bonded together to create a negatively charged particle, so it is attracted to particles with a positive charge. In nature, the negatively charged ozone molecule bonds with positively charged atmospheric pollutants. Bacteria, viruses and fungi often have a positive charge, so they are attracted to ozone molecules – this action makes ozone a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal treatment. Beneficial molecules typically carry a negative charge, so ozone does not disturb them.

Dentists have been using ozone since the 1930s to treat a variety of dental issues. The antibacterial properties of ozone can prevent small cavities from developing in the pits and fissures along the biting surfaces of the back teeth. Ozone can help disinfect areas of decay under tooth restorations, and help disinfect areas of chronic gum disease.

The colorless gas is helpful during a root canal, which is a dental procedure performed to treat a serious tooth infection. A root canal removes infected tissue from the root of the tooth. The procedure can save a badly infected tooth, and using ozone can improve the outcome of a root canal. During a root canal, the dentist removes the infected tissue from the canal of the tooth then puts a realistic-looking crown on the treated tooth. Ozone helps disinfect the canal of the tooth and the tissues surrounding the tip of the tooth root to prevent the infection from spreading.

Placed under sealants on children’s teeth, ozone can prevent the entrapment of bacteria deep in the grooves of teeth. Ozone therapy can even decrease tooth sensitivity by hardening the tooth structure.

For more information on ozone dentistry, contact Herzog and Primomo DDS.


What Are The Symptoms of Gum Disease?

While you may have some ideas about what causes gum disease and periodontitis, you may not know as much about gum inflammation, the earliest form of gum disease. Gingivitis is a type of gum disease that is often caused by poor oral hygiene and can cause a variety of symptoms. It’s important to learn what those symptoms are, so you can schedule a visit with your Albany dentist as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

  • If your gums are dark red and feel swollen and tender, you may suffer from gum disease. A clear sign of gingivitis are red, swollen gums or gums that bleed slightly when brushing the teeth.
  • Another sign of gum disease is that you often have bad breath, even after brushing. If you or someone close to you notices that you have chronic halitosis, this is a sign that you should see your Albany dentist.
  • Oral wounds can indicate a number of dental problems, but the most common problem is gum disease. Whatever the cause, it is important to note the presence of a mouth wound on the gums or on the inside of your lips, as this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Talk to your dentist to learn more about oral wounds and what they might mean.
  • Finally, if you have permanent teeth that feel loose in their sockets, or if your teeth seem to be shifting, this is a definite sign of gum disease. Book an appointment right away with your dentist for treatment.

If you have symptoms of gum disease, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to confirm your diagnosis. If left untreated, bacterial gingivitis can eventually lead to periodontitis, which then leads to bone loss and /or teeth loss. To make an appointment today and avoid the negative consequences of gum disease, please contact us.