The Hidden Danger of Your Silver Fillings
What are amalgam or silver fillings?
Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is elemental mercury by weight. Dental amalgam fillings are also known as “silver fillings” because of their silver-like appearance.
The Aesthetic and Health Benefits of Replacing Amalgam Fillings
Replacing silver fillings is good for your health. That’s been well-established as of recent. However, composite fillings also offer an excellent alternative for the sake of your smile. Composite fillings are much more beautiful than amalgam fillings. This is because composite fillings
Solutions for Replacing Amalgam Silver Fillings
Amalgam (silver) fillings were very popular not long ago, but advances in dentistry show that composite (white) fillings are a better option. Composite fillings are healthier for your body, healthier for the tooth, and blend flawlessly with your natural teeth. A composite filling can sometimes replace an amalgam filling. Other times, your dentist may place a porcelain crown to add strength to the tooth and give a more aesthetically pleasing look.
Replacing Old Silver Fillings:
We complete almost all composite fillings in just one appointment. We begin the process by thoroughly numbing your tooth and cleaning out any decay. Then, we’ll sometimes apply a special medication for added protection. Finally, the dentist will place and shape the composite to look like an improved version of your original tooth. This ensures that the filling fits your current bite.
Porcelain Crowns: Two Trips for a New Tooth
We recommend porcelain dental crowns for teeth that are too damaged to be repaired with a filling. A dental crown covers your entire tooth to correct misshapen, crooked or damaged teeth that need more than a thin veneer. This porcelain crown will look exactly like your tooth prior to the damage and will blend flawlessly with the rest of your teeth.
We complete your dental crown in two steps. During the first appointment, we’ll take impressions to create a custom porcelain crown at an off-site dental laboratory. We make a temporary crown in-house during your appointment and apply that while we wait for your permanent crown to arrive in approximately two weeks. At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be placed and the doctor will make sure it fits with your current bite, and then it will be permanently cemented on.
Who should consider removal of amalgam silver fillings?
The following kinds of patients are strongly advised to have amalgam fillings removed:
- Expecting moms
- Young children
- Those with recurrent decay and/or defective margins around their dental amalgam fillings
- Patients who have 8 or more dental amalgam fillings
- Anyone who has exhibited an allergy or sensitivity to dental amalgam (lymphocyte proliferation test)
- Patients with bruxism
- Those who consume high quantities of acidic foods and carbonated beverages.
Frequently Asked Questions about Silver Fillings
Amalgam fillings are an especially hot topic in our office. We replace many metal fillings with metal-free fillings each week. This process generates a large handful of questions. We’ve listed a few of the most frequently asked questions below.
What’s the cost of silver fillings?
Like with many dental procedures, the cost of silver fillings isn’t always the most straightforward. The procedure can vary depending on a handful of factors. As a result, our estimates aren’t always perfect. Instead of offering an inaccurate estimate here, we encourage you to visit us for a free consultation. At the consultation, your dentist can more effectively evaluate the inside of your mouth and give you a more accurate estimate.
If you’re concerned about being able to afford your treatment, you’ve come to the right place. We believe that dental care should be accessible to everyone. For that reason, we offer countless convenient payment methods, including a handful of discounts and special offers. For those that don’t have dental insurance or aren’t covered for specific treatments, we proudly partner with Lincoln Dental Plans. Lincoln Dental Plans is a dental discount plan that was created for patients without insurance. Anyone who enrolls is immediately entitled to several discounts and free services. If you’re interested, you can click the link to their website to learn more.
How does it feel to have silver fillings vs. white fillings?
Because amalgam fillings are made of metal, they often expand and change shape over time. This can sometimes cause a rough feeling in patients’ mouths. On the other hand, white fillings won’t expand or contract, and they’ll typically retain their smooth comfortable feeling for a lifetime. It’s also been reported by some patients that having amalgam fillings replaced with white fillings causes a feeling of overall wellness. Patients have claimed to feel the health difference in having silver fillings vs. white fillings. While the claim hasn’t been researched enough to be validated, the idea makes sense. Because amalgam has mercury in it, it can be a serious detriment to a person’s health. It’s no wonder then that replacing them has made certain patients feel more healthy.
Is it safe to replace my amalgam fillings?
It is indeed safe to replace amalgam fillings. Some patients are concerned about replacing amalgam fillings. In particular, they’re often concerned in cases where the metal has expanded significantly, leaving a portion of a decayed tooth exposed. In these cases, your dentists can effectively remove the remainder of the filling, in order to place a white filling in the space. Assuming they can salvage the tooth, the dentist will be able to place a new filling in the hole left behind.
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