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Opening Hours

Opening Hours

Mon: 7:30am - 5:30pm
Tue: 7:30am - 5:30pm
Wed: 7:30am - 7pm
Thu: 7:30am - 5:30pm
Fri: 7:30am - 4:30pm
Sat (every 2nd):
7:30am - 1pm

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Safe Amalgam Removal

If you currently have amalgam fillings, you may be concerned about the potential long term effects this could have on your health. The majority of dental restorations completed today actually avoid the use of amalgam and instead take advantage of more biocompatible materials such as composite resin or porcelain. At Kelmscott Dental, we are amalgam free and to learn more about Composite Resin or Porcelain visit our page here.

What is Amalgam?

Amalgam is a metal typically composed of approximately 50% mercury, 25-30% silver, 15% tin and 8% copper, along with small amounts of other trace metals. As a material, it is relatively cheap to produce and easy to use due to its strength, which is the main reason it has been used in dental restorations since as early as the 19th century. While more recently there has been a movement away from using amalgam in dentistry, it can still be found as a cheaper alternative to many modern composite resins and porcelain restorations.

Is Amalgam Bad for my Health?

There have been concerns raised about the possible side effects resulting from the exposure to amalgam restorations due to the risk of mercury being released into the body. Mercury is widely understood to be extremely toxic to the human body. Mercury can be absorbed through soft tissue (such as in the mouth), or inhaled as mercury vapour. 1

In Norway, dentists have in fact been banned from using mercury in fillings, but are instead required to use alternative filling materials (e.g. composite, porcelain, Glass Ionomer) while other European countries such as Denmark and Sweden are actively 'phasing down' amalgam. Amalgam has been banned both for its negative effect on the environment and the toxicity to human health. These countries also impose strict laws about the disposal of unused mercury to ensure it is safely removed. 2




Safe Removal of Amalgam

For patients looking to replace their amalgam fillings with composite resin or porcelain, it is extremely important that the dentist removing the amalgam takes the necessary steps to prevent ingestion or inhalation of mercury vapour and particles. Specific care must also be taken to ensure no mercury is released into the environment during the procedure.

At Kelmscott Dental, all amalgam removal is completed using the strictest of protocols, using the following steps:

The procedure is performed under high magnification to ensure the dentist has a high degree of visibility;

  • A sealed rubber material known as a rubber or dental dam is placed over the teeth to prevent any excess mercury being absorbed or ingested by the body;
  • High volume suction rapidly removes the amalgam particles as the amalgam filling is removed;
  • Water-cooled tungsten carbide drills are used which reduce the amount of heat and vapour produced
  • Mercury vapour is avoided by instead using a special technique of removing small amalgam chunks; and
  • A porcelain or composite resin restoration is then carefully placed.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

If you have any concerns about the amalgam used in your dental restorations, simply contact us on 9495 7999 to organise an appointment with our dentist.




1. WHO, World Health Organization, Future Use of Materials for Dental Restoration (pg 12) > Link

1. WHO, World Health Organization, Future Use of Materials for Dental Restoration (pg 21) > Link