Metal fillings are often called “amalgam” or silver fillings, and have been used by dentists for over a century. As metal fillings age, they also begin to leak into the tooth enamel around the filling, causing a bluish-grey stain in the tooth. This can make metal fillings more unsightly over time, as they can become darker and appear as black areas on the teeth when someone talks or laughs. Amalgam fillings also contain mercury, a metal that some people associate with negative health effects due to it being present in the body through dental fillings.
Removing metal fillings can both remove the unwanted mercury from your mouth, but also allow you to replace the filling with a more cosmetically pleasing, tooth colored filling. When removing mercury fillings, it takes highly trained skills and isolation techniques in order to prevent the mercury from escaping and leaking into the rest of the body. There are very special protocols for isolating the mercury filling and extracting it without exposing the patient. Normal filling removal does not involve careful additional steps, so if mercury exposure is something you are concerned with you will want to consider mercury isolation during removal.
Only specially trained dentists offer this service, so remember to ask your dental office if it is something they offer to patients or not. When the mercury is removed from the tooth it is also suctioned into an advanced trap system, preventing the mercury filling from entering into the environment. The mercury filling is then collected after the procedure and disposed of using EPA standards.
Once your metal filling has been removed, you can choose a tooth colored restoration to put in its place, such as a composite filling or porcelain crown, based on your needs.
Posted on the behalf of Cosmetic Dentistry Center
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