Is it a Good Idea to Replace Amalgam Fillings with Composite?

3d render of teeth with dental composite filling in gums over white background

Fillings are vital to keeping your teeth healthy and solid. If you’ve ever been told that you have a cavity, a filling is necessary to replace the area of decay in a tooth. Fillings can be placed in virtually any tooth within the mouth. They preserve healthy tooth structure and prevent the decay from getting worse. It’s not uncommon for patients to have old amalgam fillings that were placed years ago. Replacing these metal fillings can be beneficial to your health and confidence.

All About Amalgam Fillings
Amalgam was the go-to option in filling material for decades. It adapts when with the natural tooth’s structure and provides a solid surface to fill the area that has decayed. Amalgam fillings contain a small amount of mercury, which has been thought to be unsafe. In fact, there have been issues with this mercury leaking from the fillings over time, which could have an impact on your health. What’s more, amalgam fillings start out as a bright silver, and they can darken over time to where they look practically black. Replacing them can be a great way to improve the way that you look and feel.

Is it a Good Idea to Remove Old Amalgam Fillings?
There are a few benefits to removing old amalgam fillings and replacing them with composite (tooth-colored) fillings. First, the old amalgam fillings may not look great, and they can have an impact on the overall appeal of your smile. Even though amalgam fillings were and still are often used on the back teeth, you can still see them when you talk and laugh. Another reason to consider removing older amalgam fillings is because they can eventually crack and may even leach mercury into your mouth and body. There are many tests and tools that can be used to actually measure the amount of mercury found coming from old fillings. Many patients are surprised to find that their old metal fillings are more of a problem than they thought.

How the Procedure is Done
Composite resin fillings are tooth-colored and look more natural. They are perfectly matched to your existing teeth and can complement your smile. The old filling material is removed from the tooth and the tooth is cleaned of any remaining material and decay. The composite resin is then placed into the small hole and will be hardened with a curing light. The procedure is easy and quick, and you will be left with a beautiful and healthy tooth that is fully restored. In some cases, older amalgam fillings have cracked or have even shrunk, which means they should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent decay from forming around and underneath the filling.

If you’re interested in removing old amalgam fillings, call us today and our friendly staff members will be happy to further assist you.

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