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A 31-year-old member asked:

What is the procedure to get a dental amalgam filling removed and replaced?

4 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Bobbitt
Dentistry 33 years experience
Routine Stuff!: Almost the same as having it placed. The dentist will numb the tooth, place a rubber dam (to protect the airway and minimize the materials in the mouth), remove the filling and surrounding decay or damaged tooth structure. Once cleaned and prepared, the tooth is disinfected, conditioned and restored wtih the material chosen by you with your dentist. Teeth with large fillings may require a crown.
Dr. Earl Sandroff
Dentistry 44 years experience
Like getting filling: Whether a dentist is cutting out tooth structure or amalgam the procedure is the same. You get numbed up...Remove the filling without removing more tooth structure if possible, and place your new amalgam free restoration.
Dr. John Thaler
Prosthodontics 42 years experience
Very straightforward: Usually you will want to be numb, so the dentist will provide local anesthesia. Once you are numb, then the old filling and any decay and unsupported tooth will be removed. The new filling will then be placed, the bite adjusted, the contours refined, and the filling polished. That's it.
Dr. Stephen Gordon
44 years experience
Mercury safe : 1) anesthetize 2) latex free dam & goggles 3) high quality strong dental suction-dental assistant in control 4) oxygen for patient to breathe 5) dentist electric drill - high torque & slower speed. Plenty of water spray to reduce heat build which causes mercury vapor release 6) chunk out filling -do not just drill it out 7) office amalgam separator 8) once removed, remove dam, thorough rinse.
Dr. Allan Hawryluk
Dentistry 20 years experience
This is a good answer, the 'high torque and slower speed' is a step that is often missed. I would also add that magnification, good lighting, and a brand new sharp bur bit are critical.
Aug 22, 2015

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Last updated Nov 28, 2017


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