The SMART Approach to Amalgam Removal

Dental care is an essential part of our overall well-being, and for many of us, the need for cavity fillings and molar restorations is a shared experience. These dental procedures hold significant importance in preserving oral health, tackling concerns like decay and damage. Whether spurred by discomfort, regular check-ups, or proactive care, the demand for cavity fillings and molar restorations introduces us to various dental treatments, including the use of dental amalgam. 

Dental amalgam is a commonly used dental filling material that has been employed for more than 150 years in dentistry. It is a mixture of metals, consisting primarily of mercury along with varying amounts of silver, tin, and copper. This combination forms a durable and malleable substance that has been traditionally used to restore teeth affected by decay or damage.

The use of dental amalgam has been a topic of discussion and concern due to its mercury content. Mercury is a heavy metal that, in certain forms, is known to be toxic. While dental amalgam has been deemed safe for use by many dental associations and health organizations, ongoing research and developments in dental materials have led to the exploration of alternative filling materials with lower mercury content. The concerns have also prompted the establishment of safety protocols, such as the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART).

Here at enlightenDENTAL we remove amalgam dental fillings in a SMART way using the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique. It is a protocol developed by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) to ensure the safe removal of dental amalgam fillings. As a holistic dental family clinic, we are dedicated to exploring safer methods that prioritize the well-being of our patients. Our commitment extends to minimizing mercury exposure, and in pursuit of this goal, we wholeheartedly endorse the SMART protocol.

Why We Do It

Dental amalgam fillings have been a longstanding choice for cavity fillings, prized for their durability. However, the revelation that these fillings contain approximately 50% mercury has prompted concerns within the dental community. Mercury is a heavy metal known for its potential health risks, particularly when released in the form of vapors. The ongoing research consistently highlights the emission of mercury vapors from these amalgam fillings, raising alarm bells about potential health hazards.

These concerns extend beyond the patients receiving the fillings to include dental professionals and staff who are routinely exposed to the environment where amalgam removal takes place. Additionally, pregnant women are of particular concern due to the potential harm mercury exposure may pose to unborn children. Recognizing the significance of these concerns, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) has taken a proactive stance. The IAOMT acknowledges the potential risks associated with dental amalgam and endorsed the SMART Approach to Amalgam Removal.

For more information on the effects of amalgam fillings, visit the IAOMT website: 

Mercury Fillings: Dental Amalgam Side Effects and Reactions (

How We Do It

The SMART protocol represents a significant advancement in the way dental professionals approach the removal of dental amalgam fillings. It goes above conventional methods, introducing holistic and innovative protective measures to enhance the safety of both dental practitioners and patients involved in the removal process.

Amalgam Separator Usage:

The SMART protocol advocates for the utilization of amalgam separators. These devices are crucial in preventing the release of mercury amalgam waste into the dental office environment. By capturing and containing the waste, amalgam separators play an important role in minimizing potential mercury exposure.

High-Volume Air Filtration Systems:

The protocol places a strong emphasis on the implementation of high-volume air filtration systems within the treatment room. These advanced filtration systems are designed to efficiently capture and filter mercury vapors and particles generated during the removal process. This step ensures a cleaner and safer environment for both dental professionals and patients.

Protective Clothing and Equipment:

Apart from traditional protective measures, the SMART protocol recommends the use of appropriate protective clothing and equipment. This includes specialized gowns, non-latex nitrile gloves, face shields, and hair/head coverings for dental professionals. Such measures are integral in minimizing direct contact with mercury particles and vapors, safeguarding the health of those involved in the procedure. Air filtration is also a key to ensuring the safety of the patient and the team. We have both an at-source oral aerosol evacuation system and a surgically clean air unit in the room during the procedure.

Active Participation of Dentists and Patients:

One distinctive feature of the SMART protocol is its emphasis on the active involvement of both dentists and patients in adhering to safety measures. Dentists are encouraged to follow respiratory protection guidelines, including the use of properly-sealed masks rated to capture mercury. Simultaneously, patients play a role by cooperating with pre-procedural measures, such as rinsing and swallowing a slurry of adsorbents like charcoal or chlorella.

What You Will Gain from the Procedure

The implementation of the SMART protocol extends far ahead of the immediate removal of mercury amalgam fillings, offering a lot of benefits for dental professionals, staff, and patients. At its core, this protocol is designed to create a safer environment within dental settings, fostering an atmosphere of enhanced well-being and security.

By adhering to the comprehensive guidelines outlined in the SMART protocol, dental professionals can significantly mitigate the risks associated with exposure to mercury vapor and particles during the removal process. This meticulous approach, incorporating advanced technologies like amalgam separators and high-volume air filtration systems, serves as a protective shield for both practitioners and the supporting dental staff, reducing their direct contact with potentially harmful elements.

Patients, too, stand to gain considerably from the implementation of the SMART protocol. The meticulous pre-procedural measures, such as the use of adsorbents like charcoal or chlorella, contribute to minimizing their exposure to mercury. This commitment to patient safety not only addresses immediate concerns but also underscores a broader dedication to promoting overall health.

Choosing to undergo the SMART protocol is a commitment to your well-being and the safety of your oral health. At enlightenDENTAL, we align with the highest standards of safety set forth by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).

With enlightenDENTAL, your dental care is not only about restoring smiles but also about fostering an environment where safety and well-being take center stage. As the dental field evolves, we remain steadfast in its mission to provide enlightened dental care, setting the standard for a future where optimal oral health is seamlessly intertwined with the highest levels of safety and innovation.

Make the choice for a safer, healthier tomorrow – choose enlightenDENTAL to do your SMART amalgam removal. Your smile deserves nothing less than the best, and at enlightenDENTAL, your well-being is our  priority!

Note that: As a safety precaution, the IAOMT strongly advises against amalgam filling removal for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Furthermore, the IAOMT discourages dental personnel who are in these conditions from conducting work that involves the disruption of amalgam fillings, including their removal.

Explore our website at to learn more about our services and commitment to holistic dental care. 

Stay connected with us on Facebook at and on Instagram at for the latest updates, dental tips, and a glimpse into our dental family. We look forward to engaging with you on our social media platforms!

get in touch

We’d love to help get you and your family on the path to whole-body wellness.