Answers to frequently asked questions...

About Amalgam Removal

Q: Does Dr. Fleming do amalgam restorations?
A: No, Dr. Fleming has not used amalgam in his practice for nearly 25 years. (hide)
Q: If I wish to have my amalgams removed and replaced, does Dr. Fleming perform this service?
A: Yes, this is a service Dr. Fleming provides to his patients. However, this treatment is done at the patient's request often in consultation with the patient's primary health care provider. (hide)
Q: Are there cases where amalgam removal would not be indicated?
A:Yes, there are situations where amalgam removal would place the patient at more risk of harm than leaving the fillings alone. Patients in advanced states of physical decline or disability may not be good candidates for this treatment. (hide)
Q: How does my overall general health and/or allergies or chemical sensitivities affect treatment options and procedures?
A: Dr. Fleming exercises extreme care in the selection of replacement materials that are least likely to worsen or add to the patient's condition. Treatment choices are tailored to fit the patient's needs insofar as is possible. (hide)
Q: If I have many amalgams, can I get them removed all at once?
A: Dr. Fleming does not encourage the removal of amalgam fillings over one visit. The exposures to mercury and particulates can be excessive in those instances where a large amount of material has to be removed. Occasionally, if the amount of amalgam is quite small, fillings can be removed in fewer appointments. (hide)
Q: What safety precautions does he take during the removal process?
A: Dr. Fleming uses high volume suction, an auxiliary suction unit near the patient's face, rubber dam, alternative air/oxygen and techniques to avoid "scattering" the amalgam. He also uses electric driven drill handpieces that maximize comfort and speed of operation and minimize aerosols and discomfort. (hide)
Q: What is a "rubber dam" and why is it necessary?
A: A rubber dam is applied around the teeth to be worked on. This contains debris within the dam allowing for more efficient removal and replacement. As well, dryness is essential when using the newer composite materials. (hide)
Q: What materials can be used instead of amalgam?
A: There are a number of alternatives depending upon the size of the original filling, its position in the mouth, biting pressures, etc. Teeth can be restored with composite tooth colored fillings, onlays (larger laboratory processed "fillings") and crowns. Dr. Fleming will discuss these options thoroughly prior to commencing treatment. (hide)
Q: How do you choose what material to use in my mouth?
A: This is determined considering cost, location in the mouth, metal and material sensitivities that are known to the patient, and other factors. This is best determined at the time of your initial visit. (hide)


answers frequently asked questions

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