Are you looking for a biological dentist in Lincoln, NE? At Nebraska Family Dentistry, Kathryn Alderman is your local biological dentist serving patients at various locations by providing mercury-free dentistry in the Lincoln, NE area. Dr. Alderman is passionate about helping patients live healthier, happier lives and knows that having a healthy mouth can greatly impact a person’s overall well-being. Dr. Alderman will carefully review your medical history and help you treat your dental conditions using materials and techniques that will benefit your overall health. If you would like to have mercury-free dentistry for yourself and your family and have concerns about older metal restorations that may require replacement or the safety of dental treatment for patients with specific medical conditions or dental anxiety, Dr. Alderman would be happy to meet with you and answer any questions you may have.
What is a Biological Dentist?
Biological dentists are providers who understand that the health of the mouth can impact a person’s overall health. The goal of biological dentists is to treat dental problems while helping balance systemic health. One of the ways Dr. Alderman, your biological dentist does this is by ensuring that only the most bio-compatible, materials are used. She performs mercury-free dentistry in the Lincoln, NE area. She strives to ensure that any dental treatment performed helps reduce systemic inflammation in the body. Biological dentists rely on scientific-based evidence of the safety and efficacy of dental treatments before recommending them to patients.
Mercury Free Dentistry in Lincoln, NE
Amalgam is a dental material that has been used for many years in dentistry. The use of amalgam fillings in modern dentistry is slowly waning with the development of superior materials and the controversial subject of the threat amalgam fillings may pose to human health. It is estimated that about 50% of dentists in the U.S do not use mercury amalgam fillings, although only about 10% of them understand the health risks associated with amalgam. Amalgam fillings are typically comprised of an alloy of several metals including 50% mercury combined with smaller percentages of silver, copper, tin, and zinc. They are often called silver fillings, but in reality, they are not pure silver. Mercury is a known neurotoxin and has been shown to cause various harmful effects to human health. Research suggests that during normal chewing and changes to the temperature in the mouth during eating and drinking may cause the mercury from the fillings to be released into the body, which can contribute to negative effects on systemic health and that a single amalgam filling can release up to 15 mcg of mercury per day into a person’s body. The average adult has up to eight fillings in their mouth, making the average daily exposure up to 120 mcg of mercury per day. For reference, scientists warn the general public not to eat an excess of mercury-containing seafood, which on average would expose someone to 2.3 mcg daily.
In addition to negative health effects, improper disposal of amalgam fillings also poses a risk to the environment. As your biological dentist, Dr. Alderman uses amalgam separators to avoid introducing mercury into the city water supply when she is removing old amalgam fillings and performing mercury free dentistry in the Lincoln, NE area.
Fortunately, this material is no longer being used by many dentists. We perform mercury-free dentistry in the Lincoln, NE area and only use composite material for fillings. It is a good idea to ask your dental provider what type of dental materials they use routinely and be aware of any failing amalgam restorations you may have that may need to be replaced in the future with an alternative material.
If you are considering removing old amalgam fillings, or are looking for mercury free dentistry in the Lincoln, NE area, it is a good idea to consider seeing a biological dentist for this procedure. Most general dentists who practice conventional dentistry do not employ the same precautions during amalgam removal that biological dentists use. This can ultimately put your health at risk. Biological dentists know that harmful vapors that contain mercury are present during amalgam removal.
To minimize patient exposure during amalgam removal in our offices, patients are instructed not to breathe through their mouth, high-volume evacuators are placed as close to the tooth as possible, the tooth is isolated with a rubber dam, cold water is applied to avoid heating up the material during removal and a room air-purifier is used.
For patients who are concerned about metal toxicity from mercury exposure, it is possible to have testing to determine the levels present in the body. Talk to your doctor or dentist about your concerns.
Which Type of Filling Material is the Safest?
In our offices, we perform mercury-free dentistry in the Lincoln, NE area. Composite resin fillings, glass ionomer, zirconia, gold, and porcelain crowns are all biocompatible alternative dental materials to mercury amalgam fillings. In the past, some of the arguments for the continued use of amalgam was that composite fillings did not last as long as amalgams. Research has shown that amalgam fillings placed on molars have a much higher failure rate than composite fillings. Another reason for the controversy of a composite as a viable alternative to amalgam was that some of them contain BPA (bisphenol-A).
Fortunately, today there are many brands and materials available that do not contain BPA before or after curing. If you have questions or concerns about the type of materials that may be used in your treatment, speak with your dentist. If you suffer from allergies it is possible to have blood testing done that will identify a reaction to the ingredients in dental materials.
CAQ for Biological Dentist: Are Root Canals Safe?
Root canal therapy is the last effort that can be made to save a tooth that has sustained trauma or become infected due to a crack or deep cavity. During a root canal, the biological dentist removes the infected or dead nerve of the tooth, disinfects the canal the nerve once occupied and fills the empty space with a special filling material. Not every case is the same, and not every root canal has the same long-term prognosis.
If the extent of infection is great, root canals can fail because the bacteria may not be completely removed and the tooth will become a source of chronic infection and inflammation in the body. This can lead to the spread of infection to other teeth or parts of the body if it is able to enter into the bloodstream.
It is important to have a dentist who is skilled at removing the bacteria and who chooses which teeth are eligible for root canals carefully. Biological dentists know that most teeth that have infection do not have a good long-term prognosis after root canal therapy due to the difficulty of complete removal of the bacteria during traditional root canal therapy.
How a tooth is determined to be a viable candidate for root canal therapy depends upon the reason for the inflammation of the nerve. Your biological dentist will tell you that teeth that have been fractured, cracked or have a newly placed filling can lead to nerve inflammation in the tooth. This type of inflammation is acute and can be resolved by performing a root canal.
If a tooth has a large abscess that is draining infectious fluid and has been chronically infected and shows signs of bone loss, performing a root canal will not completely eradicate the bacteria from this infection. After the root canal, the tooth will continue to harbor some of the bacteria from the tooth infection, becoming a chronic source of infection in the body.
Some patients have strong immune systems and can tolerate a low-grade chronic infection for a period of time, but patients who have autoimmune conditions or other inflammatory conditions are at a higher risk of experiencing a second infection after the root canal is completed. Your biological dentist knows that in this situation, the best option is to remove the tooth which is the source of infection, allow the bone to heal and replace the tooth with a dental implant.
How Do I Find a Biological Dentist?
Here are some questions you can ask when calling a new dentist to determine if they are a dentist who practices biological dentistry:
- Do you use digital or conventional x-rays?
- Do you use an amalgam separator?
- Is this a mercury-free practice?
- What kind of testing methods do you use for patients who have allergies to metals or other dental materials?
- Do you give patients safety glasses or protective barriers during removal of amalgam fillings?
- Do you use a dental dam during amalgam removal?
- How do you prevent the amalgam from heating up during removal?
- How is the room air-protected?
- How is the mercury amalgam removed from the tooth?