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Amalgam Replacement Protocol

Although we do not routinely provide any different protocols when replacing or removing an amalgam, we are more than happy to provide the ASOMAT (Australian Society of Medicine and Toxicology) protocol should this be your desire. This involves the use of a rubber dam to catch amalgam fragments, the use of Oxygen to prevent inhalation of mercury fumes, and, the use of a tungsten carbide burrs to chop, rather than grind the amalgams out of your tooth.

Should this be your desire, please contact our practice first so that we can make a full assessment of your needs.

During our combined thirty-five years of practising dentistry, we have regularly changed our minds whether amalgam should be replaced or left well alone. Of all of the materials that can be used to repair a tooth directly in your mouth, amalgam still seems to last the longest. Sadly, when they fail (usually in your fifties and sixties), they tend to fail spectacularly. Many amalgams fillings are intact and we see no reason to change them unless they are failing or showing signs of cracks in the remaining tooth. The safety of amalgam is debatable. For this reason, we do not use amalgam within this practice as we feel that newer materials are far more suitable.

Sadly, we often see patients that have had all of their amalgams removed and replaced with white fillings. This is usually fine for small to medium sized fillings; however, this may be a recipe for failure for large white fillings. As a rule of thumb, if more than half of your tooth is amalgam, replacement with a white filling should be avoided in favour of a porcelain crown or inlay.