Everyone’s familiar with those old silver fillings that turn your pearly whites into a real metal mouth. For a long time, amalgam was the only option for filling cavities. But now that more and more people are swapping out their metal mouths for white smiles, we’re seeing a whole new environmental concern relating to taking out amalgam fillings.
Once out of your mouth, the mercury doesn’t stay contained. A substantial amount of this toxic waste washes away in the water dentists use during removal procedures. In fact, dentists are some of the biggest contributors to mercury pollution. Nearly 3.7 tons of mercury from dental offices go into water treatment facilities. These facilities are designed to take out sewage and dirt. They can capture some mercury, but a lot of it slips through the cracks and into our waterways. You know all the studies that say that fish and seabirds are high in mercury? This is a big part of the reason why.
Can you imagine how much of an impact capturing this pollutant at the source could have on the health of our community, our city, and our planet? Here at Wrigleyville Dental, we’ve been dreaming of that for a very long time, and we’ve finally done something about it. As one of our goals for the year, we’ve installed an amalgam separator which will catch at least 95% of the mercury from amalgam fillings before anything gets flushed into our wastewater.
Amalgam separators have been listed as one of the essentials of best practice in dental offices by the American Dental Association since 2007, and yet Wrigleyville Dental is one of the only offices in the Chicago area to use an amalgam separator (in fact, we’re one of only a few in the whole state to have this Earth-friendly tool). We’re proud to be on the front lines of pollution protection, keeping our world safe for years to come!