If you had metal fillings placed, you may wonder if you should have them replaced with newer composite white fillings. The answer is yes and no because it depends on the situation. In this blog, we’ll cover three circumstances where it is safe to replace old metal (or amalgam) fillings. Craig Conrow DDS MS FACP believes in offering transparent information to help current patients and interested individuals.
Reasons to Replace Amalgam Fillings
Each dental situation merits its professional diagnosis and removing amalgam fillings prematurely could be dangerous. The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) advises against removing amalgam fillings early because doing so can:
- Lead to healthy tooth loss
- Expose the patient to mercury vapor during the procedure
However, some of the main rationales for replacing amalgam fillings with composites include the following.
- Age of Fillings. As fillings age, they tend to deteriorate. Moreover, the hygiene practices of each person significantly impact the longevity of fillings. If your older fillings are beginning to show their age, it may be the perfect time to replace them with composites.
- Amalgam Leakage. A considerable difference between amalgam and a composite filling is that the former is not bonded to teeth. Since they are not, in time, they may separate slightly from teeth. Nevertheless, even a small separation will allow bacteria and food particles to enter these cracks. In turn, causing tooth decay which results in further problems.
- Teeth Fractures. By design, amalgam fillings sacrifice some tooth material to resist amalgam breakage. Sometimes this weakens the tooth and as the mercury and other metals corrode in their wet environment, they expand and cracks in the tooth occur. Replacing these fillings with composite may help to strengthen the remaining tooth structure since composite is bonded to the surface of the tooth.
If you would like to see if you can get your amalgam fillings removed, give us a call at (760) 389-5323.
Craig Conrow DDS MS FACP
73993 Highway 111, Suite 200
Palm Desert, CA