It’s understandable that you’d think about replacing amalgam tooth fillings, more commonly
referred to as silver fillings. In the past, this was the only way to repair decayed teeth, although
the solution was less than ideal due to the fact that they don’t bond with teeth or reinforce the
existing tooth structure.
Although tooth-colored fillings are widely used today, what should you do about your old silver
fillings? Here’s what you should know if you’re thinking of replacing this material for your
Unless There Is Damage Present
Your amalgam fillings shouldn’t need to be replaced unless there’s damage present. This
includes chipped or cracked fillings, decay that continues to come back, and gaps in the filling.
Your dentist can help you determine if there’s a reason to replace your silver filling by doing a
dental exam that will reveal any potential wear, damage, or problems.
If there’s nothing wrong with your silver filling, your dentist probably won’t recommend that
you replace it. A silver filling that’s still intact and shows no damage is best left alone. Removing
it may even expose you to more mercury than just leaving it in, so talk with your dentist about
what condition your filling is in and what the best treatment is.
Using Composite Fillings
If your silver filling shows damage or you’re just set on changing the filling, your dentist should
be able to help you find a better restoration that you’re more comfortable with. Tooth-colored
fillings, or composite resin fillings, are virtually indistinguishable and bond directly to the tooth,
making them a more efficient, safer solution.
Your dentist can help you determine when and if your silver filling needs to be removed and
replaced with a composite one. If your dentist recommends against removing the amalgam
filling, you can still choose to replace it, just know that your dentist doesn’t think this is the best
course of action at this point in time.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Fillings
Composite fillings require that less of your tooth’s healthy tissue be removed. In silver fillings,
tooth tissue that’s not affected by decay needs to be removed to properly put in the amalgam
filling. With tooth-colored fillings, only the damaged area is removed, ensuring that more of
your healthy tooth and its natural structure is left alone.
Tooth-colored fillings also last longer, are safer, cosmetically appealing, and help strengthen the
damaged tooth. They bond directly to teeth unlike silver fillings, and so ensure that your smile
is as seamless as possible, making those unsightly amalgam fillings a thing of the past. The best
part is that no one will even notice your composite fillings, making your smile look more
uniform and complete.
Do you have amalgam fillings and have considered getting them removed? If your silver fillings
are in good condition, you might not need any treatment at this point. A skilled and
experienced dentist can help you determine how your fillings are holding up and whether or
not they need to be replaced with composite fillings!