What are the Amalgam fillings and do they need to be replaced?

Amalgam fillings often known as “silver fillings” are a combination of metals including; silver, mercury, tin and copper, formerly a prime method of filling teeth in dentistry.

A dental filling is necessary to replace tooth structure lost to decay and may last for several years, however eventually all fillings need to be replaced.

Numerous factors affect the life of a filling such as: personal diet, oral hygiene, chewing forces, clenching and grinding habits.

Due to the properties in amalgam fillings, corrosion often occurs over time causing it to expand and contract which causes fractures in the tooth. A fractured tooth will trap food debris, bacteria and saliva which allow decay to form under the filling and progress over time if untreated.

Maintaining your routine dental check-ups is the best way to be pro-active and confident there aren’t any signs of decay, fractures or chips within existing fillings.  It is essential to replace these fillings as early as possible, waiting until there is pain or discomfort to address the problem leads to costlier procedures such as a root canal. If left untreated, advanced caries around amalgam filling may cause an abscess or even loss of tooth.

When replacing these existing amalgam fillings, Bellaire Dental Group uses advanced modern dental composite material which is more cosmetically appealing and durable. There are many advantages to using this composite material such as; a more cosmetically appealing smile, (because the material is tooth colored instead of silver) smoother margins which causes less accumulation of plaque and opportunity for re-current decay. The best form of defense is to be pro-active and maintain your routine dental check-ups, if you have any questions or concerns about your amalgam fillings ask Dr.Valter at your next appointment!