Not too long ago, if you needed to have a cavity filled, your only option was amalgam or “silver” fillings. However, as technology has evolved to introduce newer, better dental filling materials like composites, amalgam fillings are largely a thing of the past – and this might be for the better.
Why Replace Amalgam Fillings?
While amalgam fillings are suitable and effective, they also have some notable drawbacks. It’s why at the first signs of damage to existing silver fillings, or if you just want to be proactive with your health, we recommend having any amalgam fillings replaced.
Here’s a look at six good reasons to have amalgam fillings replaced:
Health and Safety
Amalgam fillings contain mercury, a poisonous heavy metallic element, with the potential to be very dangerous. Now, it’s worth noting the American Dental Association says amalgam fillings are safe for this purpose, but amalgam does emit mercury vapor. Just knowing this and its potential health impact is enough for some people to have silver fillings replaced.
There’s a reason why amalgam fillings are often called “silver fillings.” It’s because they don’t blend in well with the natural teeth at all and stand out with a gray, metal color. This is a stark contrast from composite fillings, which blend in with the teeth to the point where you can’t even tell there’s a filling.
Unlike composite fillings, amalgam fillings are difficult to repair. If there’s a chip in a composite filling, more composite can simply be added.
Here’s another big disadvantage when it comes to silver fillings: they don’t support the existing tooth at all. That’s because, unlike composite fillings, amalgam fillings don’t bond to the teeth. Hence, they don’t work to strengthen the remaining parts of the tooth.
Dentin is the part of the tooth that exists beneath the enamel. One of the other nice things about composite fillings is that the material helps to seal the tooth from harmful plaque and bacteria that could cause future damage. Again, this is another key difference between composite and amalgam fillings.
Finally, composite fillings are just much more convenient. Not only do they look better compared to amalgam fillings, but less of the tooth needs to be removed during the filling process to accommodate them. That means less drilling, a big plus for both the patient and the dentist.
Ask About Composite Fillings
As you can see, there’s really no comparison between composite and amalgam fillings. Many other dentists agree, it’s best to replace silver fillings, if not now then at the first sign of failure. For more information, contact Caven Dental today.