Mercury is a highly toxic element so it’s not news that mercury is unsafe. Just how dangerous is mercury, anyway? For instance, if inhaled, ingested, or even absorbed through the skin in large enough doses, it can cause mercury poisoning leading to symptoms like headache, insomnia, and vision impairment. High exposure to mercury could cause kidney malfunction, neurological malfunction, respiratory failure, and even death.
Did you know this metal was once used in medications? Not only that, amalgam fillings featuring mercury content are being used by many dentists in the US. For many years, amalgam fillings have been the primary treatment for cavities due to durability and affordability. They remain a popular choice as of today.
On a brighter note, more and more dentists are condemning the use of amalgam fillings! As an Austin dental patient, you will be thrilled to hear that you can find a mercury-free dentist at any of our dental offices throughout Austin, Texas. Why is it important to see an Austin mercury-free dentist? Here’s what you need to know:
Vapors are the Enemy
Skin contact and ingestion are certainly concerning when it comes to mercury, but the greater danger with mercury fillings is the vapor they can produce when they begin to break down. Over time, chewing, brushing, and other normal wear and tear could cause the release of toxic mercury vapors that are potentially detrimental to the health of the patient.
Vapor tends to be more toxic than other forms of mercury, but any type of mercury can bond to tissue proteins and enzymes in the body, directly harming our very cells and disrupting their normal function. This, in turn, can lead to a slew of undesirable side effects, including organ failure. Some argue that this level of harm isn’t possible from the small amounts of mercury in fillings alone, but do you want to take that risk?
In truth, Austin dental offices that are not mercury-free are also putting their dental team and staff at risk. Every time amalgam fillings are handled or removed, workers could be exposed. This is why so many conscientious dental offices in Austin are choosing to go mercury-free with their operations.
Bans on Amalgam Fillings
In 2013, several nations signed a treaty to start phasing out mercury fillings, while a handful pledged to ban them outright. In July of last year, the use of amalgam fillings for children under the age of 15, along with pregnant or nursing mothers, was banned across the European Union.
Legal changes have been slow to occur, but more and more countries are recognizing the problem and taking steps to eradicate mercury in dentistry. Meanwhile, concerned dental offices are doing their part by going mercury-free, even without legislation requiring them to do so.
Austin Mercury-Free Dentists
Your health and safety are paramount concerns, which is why you need to make informed decisions about the doctors and dentists you choose. When it comes to selecting a suitable dentist in Austin, don’t hesitate to ask if the office you plan to visit is mercury-free and if they can help you to replace any amalgam fillings you currently have.
If you’re looking for a qualified and caring Austin mercury-free dentist, contact Access Dental or online to schedule an appointment and learn more.