You may have seen the phrase ‘Mercury and Latex Free’ the way you see ‘Fair Trade’ or ‘Certified Organic.’ It has become a new slogan that represents precautions some dental practices have taken in order to keep their patients safe, and at RADA, we make a point to be on the list of Mercury and Latex Free dental offices.
You might be wondering why some dental practices use mercury and latex and why others choose to avoid them. The first fillings developed for dentistry were made of 50% mercury. Though technological developments have allowed us to transition away from mercury, it is still widely used in amalgam fillings.
The problem with mercury is twofold. Mercury is a neurotoxin for humans. Trace amounts that escape a filling can end up where they don’t belong, in the nervous system. This mercury can also get into the environment through a variety of ways that frequently ends up in our water and fisheries. For these reasons many practices, including ours, have chosen to play it safe and keep a mercury free environment.
Along with peanuts and bee stings, latex has made the list of common allergens we face on a regular basis. Latex comes from a substance derived from the rubber tree. Just like hay fever, many people (3 million, according to some studies) are allergic to proteins this tree produces. With numerous alternatives available to us, we keep a latex free environment to ensure you and your children are safe.