Most people can probably guess what a mercury free dentist is, even if they have never heard of one. But what exactly does mercury safe mean, and how do they differ? A mercury free dentist does not use mercury in dental fillings or other restorations. They may or may not routinely remove such fillings, and they may or may not do so safely. A mercury safe goes a few steps further, besides not using mercury, a mercury safe dentist follows very strict protocols to protect you, themselves, and the environment from exposure to mercury vapors during removal.
If you are looking for a mercury safe dentist, you could open the yellow pages and start calling and interviewing, but that would be time-consuming and potentially frustrating. A better option is to look for a dentist who is a member of one of several organizations dedicated to mercury safe practices and be sure you will not be exposed to mercury. Some of these organizations include:
- International Association of Mercury Safe Dentists – members of this organization commit to not using mercury in their dental practices and to using safe removal protocols. Specific protocols may vary by dentist, so be sure to ask about details before having the procedure done.
- International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology – members are committed not only to not using mercury and mercury safe practices, but to using the most biocompatible materials available in each individual situation. The organization is actively working to persuade the FDA to ban mercury in dentistry and to persuade OSHA to regulate dental offices so that patients, staff, and the environment are protected from the toxic substance.
- International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine – This organization is committed to increasing social, spiritual, ecological, and environmental awareness among dentists. Members are committed to empowering patients to take charge of their own health.
- The Institute of Nutritional Dentistry – This organization hosts regular seminars for members focusing on nutrition, biocompatible materials, and innovative technology.
- The Institute of Systemic Dentistry – This organization is dedicated to teaching members about the connection between oral health and overall health.
- Holistic Dental Association – This organization was founded by a group of dentists who wanted to create a forum where dentists could share ideas for promoting better health. Members are committed to offering guidance to those patients who want to play a more active role in their own health care.
Article courtesy of San Diego Dentist, Dr. Vinograd, DDS – http://drvinograd.com