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Rubber Dams

At Crescent Dental Health when removing amalgam or placing composite restorations we use rubber dams. This allows us to remove the amalgam without exposing the patient to the risk of mercury exposure.

The rubber dam shown, tightly adheres around the teeth to form a water tight seal, this also prevents contamination of the cavity.

The amalgam filling is sectioned into two or three parts using a very fine drill, specifically designed to minimise any potential release of mercury contained within the amalgam restoration. Once the filling is sectioned the large blocks of amalgam can then be removed intact, which is safer for you as a patient. Most patients find the rubber dam very comfortable and prefer treatment with the dam.

The use of the rubber dam, specialist amalgam drills, and the sectioning technique optimises safety and reduces risk when removing mercury fillings.

We use a high volume suction system, with copious amounts of water, again this reduces the chance of mercury vapour release. Our dental chair is fitted with an amalgam separator, this stores any amalgam waste removed within a specialised chamber to prevent any contamination in the surgery and ensure our team are not exposed.

Once the amalgam is removed I will photograph the teeth to show patients with an interest any decay present, the decay is removed and the cavity prepared. Finally the tooth is washed with a bicarbonate paste, that removes a microscopic layer of tooth surface, ensuring all traces of amalgam are removed and leaves an ideal surface for the adhesive filling materials we use at Crescent dental health.

Dental bonding agents are very powerful, it is the same bonding technology used in the aircraft and space industry to bond and laminate aircraft wings. The technique is however very sensitive to moisture during placement, and so by using the rubber dam we eliminate the mouth’s natural moist environment to get the best possible bond. This seals the tooth to protect from further decay and ensures the best filling strength.

With a reasonable diet and good hygiene is maintained we expect the composite restorations placed with this level of attention to detail will last 10 years or more.