Frequently Asked Questions
Does JLDDSPA do amalgam restorations?
No, we do not use amalgam in our practice.
If I wish to have my amalgams removed and replaced, does JLDDSPA perform this service?
Yes, this is a service we provide to our patients. However, this treatment is done at the patient’s request often in consultation with the patient’s primary health care provider.
Are there cases where amalgam removal would not be indicated?
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.
If I have several amalgams, can I get them remove all at once?
We do 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.
What safety precautions do the doctors take during the removal process?
Dr. Lerzundy and Dr. Fleming use high volume suction, an auxiliary suction unit near the patient’s face, rubber dam, alternative air/oxygen and techniques to avoid “scattering” the amalgam. They also use electric driven drill hand-pieces that maximize comfort and speed of operation and minimize aerosols and discomfort.
What materials can be used instead of amalgam?
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. Our doctors will discuss these options thoroughly prior to commencing treatment.
Treatments and Procedures
How does my overall health and/or allergies or chemical sensitivities affect treatment options and procedures?
We exercise 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.
What is a “rubber dam” and why is it necessary?
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.
How do you choose what material to use in my mouth?
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.
How often should I see a dentist?
The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning. We also recommend a minimum of two visits per year.