Dental fillings

Dental fillings: Should metal fillings be replaced with composite?

A filling is when a substance is pumped into your tooth, it seals holes and prevents bacteria or acid from attacking your tooth any further. It’s a common approach to dealing with cavities, and better than leaving your tooth decay untreated. It’s estimated a third of adults have untreated tooth decay.

Many different substances can be used to create a filling. In many cases, the array of options will be limited by the thoughts and feelings of your dentist.

Filling Options

Fillings can be made from gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, or composite materials. The composite option is best if you want tooth-colored, gold is generally the strongest, but the silver amalgam is generally the cheapest.

It’s this one that you need to consider replacing.

A silver amalgam filling is a mixture of silver, tin, zinc, copper, and mercury. It’s a very strong filling and durable, capable of putting up with the grinding pressure that your back teeth perform daily.

However, over time it will wear down and that’s when you should be concerned. If your filling becomes worn or damaged the mercury inside it can leach into your body. Unfortunately, mercury is a poison. It doesn’t take a lot of it to cause brain issues and even death.

Should You Replace Your Metal Filling?

This is definitely a personal question. Although, it is a good idea to have a reputable dentist, like this dentist Toowong, on hand. They can help you to make an informed decision.

An old metal filling is more likely to leak, potentially causing you health issues. In this instance, it would seem sensible to have the filling removed.

However, you need to locate a good dentist that you can trust to remove it properly. If they don’t it could rupture while being removed. That’s still not a good scenario.

Of course, removing it means you’ll have to pay for the removal and pay to have a replacement filling done.

It should be noted that a filling that is decaying should always be replaced. If it’s left it can lead to infection and further tooth damaged. However, the decision to remove and replace an existing filling simply because it is metal rests with you.

There are risks to keeping it and risks involved in removing it. You need to be aware of all of them before you ask your dentist to remove the filling.

Other Considerations

Metal fillings are generally put in the back of your mouth, where the metal won’t be noticeable. That’s why you rarely see metal amalgam in front teeth.

Swapping your metal filling for a composite one will give you a more natural look, although it may not be something that most people are aware of unless it’s in one of your front teeth. In this instance, you’ll probably see filling replacement as the logical choice.

You should also note that composite fillings naturally bond with your tooth. This can make them stronger and it certainly makes it easier to fit them.

There is no need to drill holes in your mouth to ensure the amalgam stays in the designated hole, composite fillings fill the hole and stick to it.

You can also be assured of a better long-term look with a composite filling.

Final Thoughts

If you’re not sure whether to have the filling changed or not then speak to your dentist. They can monitor the situation for you and advise when it has to be done as opposed to when you can choose to have it done.

Remember, there is no right or wrong answer, just what suits you best.

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