Replacing Amalgam Fillings

Why You Should Replace Your Old Amalgam Fillings

Many people have become increasingly concerned over the potential dangers of their old silver amalgam fillings. As dental technology has improved, we have become aware of many issues with older techniques, including the possibility of mercury leaking. If you have older amalgam fillings, dental technology now allows us to remove your old fillings and replace them with safer, more aesthetically pleasing dental composite fillings. For more on why you should choose to have your old fillings removed, read our handy guide below.

Amalgam Fillings May Hide Tooth Decay

Silver amalgam fillings are opaque, even on a dental x-ray. This means that the tooth decay may be spreading or worsening without your dentist being able to tell. Studies have shown that without a dental x-ray, your dentist can observe 50 percent of tooth decay. However, if you have a silver amalgam filling, even with a dental x-ray the dentist may only find between 80 and 85 percent of tooth decay, leaving up to 20 percent of cavities in your mouth completely undetected. This could mean the difference between a simple procedure such as an additional filling, and something more extensive like a full root canal.

Amalgam Fillings May Cause Cracks in Teeth

Unlike dental composite fillings, silver amalgam fillings don’t help to strengthen your teeth. In fact, they act almost like a wedge. Every time you bite down, the pressures on the filling are pushed outward to the teeth. Eventually, this will cause the teeth to crack. The chances of this happening are greater is the filling is more than half as wide as the tooth, but the possibility of cracking remains even if your filling is a third of the size of your tooth. This is largely due to the fact that silver amalgam fillings were never actually bonded to your tooth; they are simply packed into the cavity. In contrast, tooth colored composite fillings are adhered to the tooth, which distributes the chewing forces over a greater area, strengthening the tooth by as much as 15-20 percent.

Composite Fillings Make Spotting Problems Easier

Tooth colored dental composite fillings have an excellent advantage over silver amalgam fillings: they can make spotting dental issues easier. This is because of the staining that can occur around the edges of the composite filling when the seal is breaking down. This gives your dentist an early indication that a problem exists and needs to be treated.

If you have old silver amalgam fillings, and would like to know more about the reasons why you should have them replaced with newer, dental composite fillings, contact us today. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have and look forward to helping you achieve your ideal smile.