Since the removal of mercury dental fillings generates enormous quantities of both mercury vapor and mercury contaminated particulate matter, it is essential to protect the patient from these toxic exposures which originate inside the oral cavity. Amalgam manufacturers such as Kerr list the following precautions in their amalgam instructions.

Proper care should be taken when handling this product. Protective measures such as the following should be taken:
The placement of a dental amalgam in a patient will increase the level of mercury in the body of the patient. The use of a rubber dam may decrease the amount of mercury absorbed by a patient during the removal or placement of an amalgam.

Mercury Safe Tips from a SMART certified dentist.

The IAOMT’s SMART protocol also recommends that dentists use a dental dam during the removal of mercury fillings so as to protect patients from mercury exposures. Here are some additional measures from mercury safe dentist Matthew Young, DDS that can allow a dental dam to be even more protective.

Mercury-Safe Biological Dentist Matthew Young, DDS.

Learn more about Dr. Young and his mercury-safe dental practice by watching this clip from the Oscar qualifying film, Evidence of Harm, a documentary about the hazards of mercury dental fillings to patients, staff and the global environment.

Matthew Young, DDS, FIAOMT of Hendersonville, North Carolina, former president of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (a biological dental organization) and has been a mercury-safe biological dentist since 2005. After Dr. Young began his research in the areas of occupational mercury exposure, he began to wear Hazmat level III protection with full coverage Tyvek suits and full face 3M respirators to protect himself and his employees. His goal is for his practice to be a beta test site for the dentistry profession, educating fellow dentists and dental schools about improving mercury hygiene. Dr. Young is the only dentist in the country that has a Mercury Instruments USA – real time mercury vapor analyzer system installed through-out his whole office to monitor mercury levels generated by the removal of mercury dental fillings.

Dental dams and HgX cream reduces mercury exposure to patients

Dr. Young states: Making sure that the non-latex rubber dam has a good accurate fit is essential. The holes punched before placement must not stretch or constrict the dam after placement. Check all aspects of the fit to make sure no exposed gingival tissue can be seen around the edges. After checking for fit and taking the tension off of the dam we apply a layer of Lumiblock (dental dam sealer) all around the edges of the dam-tooth interphase. That assures a tight seal which prevents any leakage of mercury contaminated saliva or particles from entering the oral cavity.

We then apply a nice even coat of HgX Hand Cream all over the dental dam with a large obstetrical Q-tip. HgX Hand Cream is a mercury neutralizing cream which has the texture of shaving cream. The removal of amalgam creates a shower of amalgam particulates which average 1 micrometer in diameter (too small to be seen by the human eye). This particulate continues to outcast mercury for up to six hours. The HgX cream neutralizes this out gassing of mercury and protects the patient by acting like fly paper to capture the particulate before it would travel through the dental dam or to adjacent surfaces or flooring.

non latex rubber dam

Mercury-safe products mentioned in this article

ImageNamePriceBuyShort Description
Acton Technology Hgx Cream
HgX Hand Cream and Cleaner 12oz jar$25.00 or subscribe and save up to 25%

Choose a REDUCED RATE subscription and SAVE!
One time = original price of $25

HgX® Hand Cream and Cleaner is especially made for those handling metallic mercury and mercurials. HgX® hand cream and cleaner is available in convenient 12 oz. jars, and should be used as an aid in industrial mercury hygiene daily routines.

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Testing for mercury contamination in your dental office

While there are a number of ways to test which surfaces in your operatory might be accumulating and off gassing mercury. We offer a week long rental of a Mercury Tracker 3000, a portable mercury vapor analyzer from Mercury Instruments USA. With this portable measuring device, one can go to various points through-out their office to test for mercury vapor levels. The Mercury Tracker 3000 will display real time results of mercury levels.

Be aware that while mercury vapor is heavier than air it is still very easy to move around. Where mercury vapor resides is influenced by air flow, such as the opening and closing of doors and even walking through a room. We recommend donning your PPE and respirator while measuring for mercury contamination.

ImageNamePriceBuyShort Description
Mercury Tracker 3000 - Portable Mercury Vapor Analyzer ONE WEEK RENTAL
Mercury Tracker 3000 - Portable Mercury Vapor Analyzer ONE WEEK RENTAL$699.00

ONE WEEK RENTAL of a Mercury Tracker 3000 portable mercury detection system which is a lightweight, compact and rugged instrument for measuring the mercury concentration in air and other gases. Product rental ships only to continental United States in a hard shell pelican case with extra batteries and accessories via UPS 3 day.

chemteq mercury wipe 306
Mercury Detection Surface Wipes (5 pack) & Color Comparator Original price was: $120.00.Current price is: $115.00.

The Mercury ChemWipe 306 is a colorimetric surface wipe designed to provide real-time indication of the presence of trace amounts of mercury and mercury II compounds on surfaces. The Mercury ChemWipe is selective and sensitive. The unique design of the ChemWipe provides uniform color change formation enabling user to quantify chemical contamination using the color comparator. After using the Mercury Surface Wipes, use the Mercury Color Comparator to quantify the mass of mercury collected on the Mercury Surface Wipe

chemteq mercury comparator 306-6000
Mercury Color Comparator$55.00

After using the Mercury Surface Wipes, use the Mercury Color Comparator to quantify the mass of mercury collected on the Mercury Surface Wipe