When you were a child and your dentist said that you needed a filling, chances were that a dental amalgam was used. Amalgam fillings are a mixture of metals, such as tin, copper, silver, and mercury. These were the silver colored fillings that the dentist applied to a child’s and adult’s teeth. In this blog post, we will give some of the pros and cons of dental amalgam fillings and whether or not to replace them.

Amalgam introduction:

Dental amalgam restorations also known as silver mercury fillings have been a standard restorative filling for premolars and molars since the early 1800s. This option replaced the gold foil options since it was more cost effective and allows a patient to keep the tooth. Keeping teeth is essential to improving a patient’s quality of life.

Amalgam advantages:

  • Durable Material: These fillings are made with components that make it extremely durable. They can withstand wear and tear and can last approximately ten to twelve years or even longer before requiring replacement.
  • Affordable: As mentioned before, this option became an option due to the affordability starting back in the 1800s. This is one of the main reasons patients and dentists chose this option.
  • Eat most foods: Due to amalgam fillings being so durable, patients can easily eat most foods without worrying about the filling breaking.
  • Future cavities protection: Amalgam fillings make the edges of the tooth next to the cavity more resistant to future cavities.

Amalgam disadvantages:

There are many advantages to this filling type however, it is important to explain some of the disadvantages which have to do with the material used. For example; the fillings can get darker over time, can cause increased tooth sensitivity and the tooth with the filling can become weaker and crack. There is also a lot of controversy over whether the filling is safe or not.

Removal or not:

Before you make any decisions on removing your amalgam filling it is essential to speak with Dr. Abrams. If your filling and tooth are in good condition and there is no tooth decay, Dr. Abrams might not recommend removing the filling. Having the filling removed can cause the loss of healthy tooth structure, especially if the amalgam filling is intact. If you would prefer to have the filling removed, however, have a conversation with Dr. Abrams to discuss the need for removal and procedure.

If you would like to have your amalgam fillings removed or if there is a need to have them removed, such as decay, fractured tooth structure and/or fracture lines that have formed surrounding the filling, we can do that safely. We utilize proper armamentarium including oxygen, a rubber dam for isolation, an amalgam suction and a vacuum for capturing the particles and protecting the patient during the removal of the amalgam.

If you have amalgam fillings, but are unsure if you should have them removed, call Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry for an appointment with Dr. Abrams. Dr. Abrams will have a consultation with you to discuss the different options available. In order to make an appointment, visit our website and fill out our contact form or call us at (615) 595-6111.

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