The Dangers of Removing Old Mercury “Silver” Fillings.

When old mercury “silver” fillings are removed/replaced the dental drill causes the filling to emit high levels of hazardous mercury vapor.  Dr. Taylor has advanced training in “Safer Mercury Removal” and accreditation from the IAOMT (International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology).  When Dr. Taylor removes old amalgam (mercury) fillings he uses the most current practices available for “Safer Mercury Removal” to reduce the amount of toxic mercury vapors and particles that you and our staff are exposed to.  Please watch this video from the IAOMT which demonstrates they need for protective barriers and what those protective barriers are.


Dental Mercury Waste in Our Water, Land and Air

How Does Amalgam Waste Affect The Environment?

If improperly managed by dental offices, dental amalgam waste can be released into the environment.  Dentists should use dental amalgam separators to catch and hold the excess amalgam waste coming from office spittoons. Without dental amalgam separators, the excess amalgam waste will be released to the sewers via drains in the dental offices.  While Publicly-Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) have around a 90% efficiency rate of removing amalgam from wastewaters, a small amount of waste amalgam is discharged from POTWs into surface waters around the plants.

At the treatment plant, the amalgam waste settles out as a component of sewage sludge that is then disposed:

  • in landfills
  • through incineration
  • applied to agricultural land as fertilizer

If the amalgam waste is sent to a landfill, the mercury may be released into the groundwater or air. If the mercury is incinerated, mercury may be emitted to the air from the incinerator stacks. And finally, if mercury-contaminated sludge is used as an agricultural fertilizer, some of the mercury used as fertilizer may also evaporate to the atmosphere. Through precipitation, this airborne mercury eventually gets deposited onto water bodies, land and vegetation. Some dentists throw their excess amalgam into special medical waste (“red bag”) containers, believing this to be an environmentally safe disposal practice. If waste amalgam solids are improperly disposed in medical red bags, however, the amalgam waste may be incinerated and mercury may be emitted to the air from the incinerator stacks.  This airborne mercury is eventually deposited into water bodies and onto land.

You can read this article in it’s complete form on the governments Environmental Protection Agency’s website: