You may not like them because they make your teeth look dark – you may not like them because over time your teeth are at risk of fracturing due to the strength of material – and you may not like them because they contain mercury, a material that isn’t the healthiest for your smile, or your body.
Silver Fillings – Saying Goodbye to an Old Tradition
Patients over the age of forty may have, or have had a silver filling or two over the years. Once a highly used restorative material – amalgam or silver fillings no longer claim top shelf with patients or dentists due to the availability of more esthetically suitable and less controversial materials. Silver fillings have become controversial in recent decades and for more than one reason. Considered bio-hazardous waste, you do have to question whether it belongs in the body – add to the controversy the material’s unique ability to expand and contract with varying temperatures. It’s the expansion of the material that causes the walls of a tooth to become stressed and over time be more at risk for breaking. Now throw a cherry on the top and consider the color of silver fillings – not exactly a great cosmetic option! There may be many reasons to want to replace old silver fillings – but is there a time when you need to replace them?
Nothing Lasts Forever – Even Silver Fillings
Though amalgam restorations are incredibly strong and durable – even they have an expiration date. Interestingly, sometimes it’s the tooth that gives out prior to the material failing – this is due to the weakening impact amalgam can have on teeth as it expands. But even if your teeth are fully intact – replacing silver fillings is recommended when they develop pits and cracks and show signs of the margins no longer ‘fitting the tooth’. If your dentist can catch the margin of an amalgam filling with an explorer it’s time to consider replacing the material – as bacteria can seep in to margins and cracks and cause decay to form under and around the filling.
Regular dental exams are the perfect opportunity for your NE Calgary Dentist to check your existing fillings and make any recommendations for replacement. If silver fillings are intact and not showing signs of wear it may be best to leave them alone – unless you are bothered by their color – in which case you can consider replacement with a tooth colored material.