As a holistic dental practice in Overland Park, Kansas, Dentistry by Shane Nelson, DDS, is dedicated to the health of your “whole self.” Due to the interconnected nature of the oral cavity and the rest of your body, maintaining the health of your mouth supports your overall health and wellbeing. However, some traditional dental materials and techniques are detrimental to systemic health. Notably, dental amalgam fillings present challenges to good health and quality of life. Due to these concerns, our dentist does not place these silver-colored fillings. Additionally, he is SMART Certified. So, our office both refrains from using amalgam fillings and is trained and qualified to remove them in a way that promotes the health of our team, patients, community, and the planet.
Why we don’t use amalgam fillings
These dental restorations are typically referred to as “silver fillings.” That is a misleading term. The filling may be silver in color. However, the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology reports that amalgam fillings are 50% liquid elemental (metallic) mercury by weight. The rest of the amalgam (or mixture) includes metal alloys, such as silver. Mercury functions to bind the metals together.
Unfortunately, this fundamental ingredient is a recipe for adverse health conditions. Mercury is a known toxin. The effects of mercury exposure on humans, wildlife, and waterways are well-documented. In fact, the IAOMT lists more than 250 specific symptoms associated with mercury exposure from amalgam fillings. These symptoms affect wide-ranging organs and bodily systems, including cognitive and neurological impairments, chronic headaches, and kidney, cardiovascular, and respiratory problems.
Effects are widespread because amalgams continuously emit mercury. This toxin accumulates in the brain, kidneys, liver, lungs, digestive tract, and other organs. Certain behaviors increase the amount of mercury released and absorbed, for instance, when consuming hot beverages or foods. We believe that amalgam has no place in our holistic/biomimetic office. There is also no place for any toxic materials in our patients’ mouths. Furthermore, since mercury is also released at higher levels during the amalgam removal process, we have gone the extra mile to assure exposure is minimized as restorations are removed and replaced.
Why we are SMART certified
SMART stands for “Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique,” a protocol developed by the IAOMT. Dr. Nelson is one of just six dentists in Kansas to have earned this certification. Our patients have peace of mind that the health of their mouth and entire “system” is in great hands. We are also doing our part to maintain staff, community, and environmental health by investing in the equipment, practices, technologies, and other supplies to minimize the release of mercury into the air. Mercury exposure increases as fillings are heated up when drilled out and altered during removal. This step results in particulate matter and vapors – toxic substances released into the air, where they potentially threaten the health of our dentist, team, patients, and our waterways.
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No stone is left unturned in our approach to reducing the mercury vapors and released particles. From the use of protective coverings and face shields to special handling and disposal protocols and equipment, we ensure that mercury does not pose a threat to our community. To learn more about our mercury-free and mercury-safe approach to dentistry, call Dentistry by Shane Nelson, DDS, at (913) 297-7800.
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