Most people that have older fillings in their mouth most likely have amalgam, otherwise known as silver or metal fillings. Amalgam fillings have been used for decades as the go-to restorative material of choice, but advancement in dental materials over the past several years have changed that. Modern tooth-colored composite fillings require less tooth preparation, are less invasive, and appear much more natural in the mouth. Silver fillings patched the decayed area of the tooth, where resin fillings actually bond directly to it.
Over time, silver fillings simply wear out and begin to leak. This weakens the tooth and allows stain from the silver material to enter into the tooth enamel, discoloring the tooth. Some patients are also concerned with having silver fillings in their mouth as they do contain a small amount of mercury in their formulation. Placement and removal of metal fillings must be done very carefully to prevent exposure to these materials. Specialized trap and filtration systems allow your dentist to remove the filling and isolate the material so that it can be disposed of without harming the environment.
Silver fillings can be removed and replaced with tooth colored resin fillings. However, if the filling is extremely large it may require a crown to be put over the tooth to maintain it’s stability. The new resin filling or crown is carefully matched to the shade of your existing teeth so that the tooth appears as natural as possible, blending in with the rest of your smile. Choosing to remove your silver fillings and have them replaced can allow you to laugh and talk without feeling self-conscious about the appearance of dark fillings.
Posted on behalf of Dan Myers
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