Here's Why You Should Go to a SMART Certified Dentist in Anchorage

Here’s Why You Should Go to a SMART Certified Dentist in Anchorage

If you’ve opened this blog, you are probably wondering what “SMART certified dentist” means.

Our very own Dr. Mandanas is a SMART certified dentist in Anchorage. We are very excited to share how this certification makes us different from other dentists and what makes it so beneficial to our patients!

You’ll learn why going to a SMART certified dentist matters. We hope you get a lot out of this blog, especially the information you need to make a smart choice about your dental provider (wink, wink). Enjoy!

What Does “SMART Certified Dentist” Mean?

The acronym SMART stands for the Smart Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique. The SMART certification is something administered by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT), a global network of dentists, health professionals, and scientists who research the biocompatibility of dental products.

Biocompatibility (our definition) – Compatibility with the mouth and body, typically used in reference to dental treatments and devices, meaning that they do not pose a risk to the health of the mouth and body.

You can learn more about biocompatibility in our blog, What Is Biocompatible Dentistry? Philosophy and Practice.

The IAOMT is especially interested in the risks associated with mercury amalgam fillings. The Smart Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART) was created to protect the mouth and body against those risks.

Why Does Going to a SMART Certified Dentist in Anchorage Matter?

So what are the risks of mercury amalgam fillings and why does going to a SMART certified dentist matter?

The risks of mercury amalgam are not agreed on by the scientific community. Mercury amalgam fillings release low levels of mercury in the form of vapors over their lifetime. The levels of mercury vapors released by amalgam fillings are not high enough to pose a risk to your health. Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have marked amalgam fillings safe for use in dental practice. However, studies have shown changes in the health complaints of patients who have had their amalgam fillings removed, though the exact reasons for these results have yet to be determined

There are many reasons why you might want to get your mercury amalgam fillings removed besides concern over mercury vapors. Mercury amalgam fillings have a lifespan of 10-15 years, which means they need to be replaced if they are getting old or worn. They can also cause teeth to chip and crack. You can learn more in our blog, 5 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Amalgam Fillings Replaced.

Because health complaints have been correlated with the removal of mercury amalgam fillings specifically, when you need to get your fillings removed, you should go to a SMART certified dentist. A SMART certified dentist is trained to protect you from the risks of mercury amalgam and they will replace your fillings with composite, a material that is known to be biocompatible, or, safe for your mouth and body.

What Is the Smart Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique?

The Smart Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique is a protocol that SMART certified dentists use to remove mercury amalgam fillings as safely as possible. We have broken it down into 10 easy-to-understand steps in our blog, What Is the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique? Get SMART About Your Fillings. The protocol includes water separation and air filtration devices, mercury absorbent cleaning materials, protective coverings, and more.

Do you need fillings or are you interested in getting your mercury amalgam fillings removed? We would love to get you in to see our SMART certified dentist here in Anchorage, Dr. Mandanas. She can discuss your treatment options with you and talk more about the risks of mercury amalgam. Schedule an appointment today!

What Is the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique? Get SMART About Your Fillings

What Is the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique? Get SMART About Your Fillings

In a previous article, we discussed five reasons why you should get your mercury amalgam fillings removed. We mentioned that our own Dr. Mandanas is trained in the safe removal of mercury amalgam. But what does that mean?

The Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique or “SMART” was developed by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT) as a set of scientific research-backed safety recommendations and protective measures for the removal of mercury amalgam silver fillings. It was built on traditional practices of safe removal combined with new conventions as scientific research continues to make new discoveries regarding mercury amalgam fillings. The technique protects both people and the environment from the harmful impact of mercury vapors and amalgam particulate. It is presented as a set of recommendations and not requirements, so it is up to the discretion of licensed practitioners to determine how they will use SMART in their practice. For this reason, it is important for you, the patient to be educated in SMART so that you can be an advocate for your own safety and the safety of those around you!

The Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART)

The Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique is fully outlined by the IAOMT but it can be summarized into ten steps. Be sure to view the IAOMT’s detailed outline for a complete understanding of the SMART process. Generally speaking, SMART involves the following requirements:

  1. In order to prevent mercury amalgam from getting into the liquid waste of the dental office and releasing into the environment, the dentist should install an amalgam separator in their wastewater system.
  2. The room where the mercury amalgam removal procedure occurs should have proper air filtration systems in place and any windows should be opened to remove the mercury vapor and amalgam particles released by the procedure.
  3. Before the procedure, the patient should be given a mixture of charcoal (or a similar absorbent material) and water to rinse and swallow unless she declines or if she has a medical reason now to take it.
  4. The patient, dentist, and dental personnel involved in the procedure should all be wearing protective gowns and covers to protect them from mercury amalgam particulate.
    • The dentist and dental personnel should also be wearing non-latex nitrile gloves, face shields, hair/head coverings, and a proper mask.
    • The patient should also be wearing a nasal mask, a non-latex nitrile dental dam, and a saliva ejector beneath the dental dam.
  5. An oral aerosol vacuum should be used within two to four inches of the patient’s mouth.
  6. Significant amounts of water and an evacuation device should be used to reduce heat and capture mercury discharges.
  7. The mercury amalgam should be removed in as large of pieces as possible.
  8. After the procedure, the patient’s mouth should be thoroughly flushed with water and rinsed a second time with the charcoal mixture.
  9. The dentist and the dental personnel should comply with all federal, state, and local regulations for the proper cleaning and disposal of all mercury-affected clothes, covers, equipment, and surfaces.
  10. Protective equipment should continue to be used during the maintenance of the suction system.

If you are interested in getting your mercury amalgam fillings safely removed, get in touch with Dr. Mandanas! As mentioned previously, Dr. Mandanas is fully trained in the SMART process and she will be an advocate with you for your safety. Dr. Mandanas is an integrative dentist who views the body as a whole and cares about the effects of dental materials, including mercury amalgam, on the rest of the body.