Recently, there’s been enough talk about whether it’s necessary to replace silver amalgam fillings with white composite ones. Although there is no definitive answer, as a rule, if your metal fillings are defective, have become loose or show a cavity, it is really important to replace them. Untreated cavities and holes in your fillings may eventually lead serious tooth infection, therefore, occasionally, replacing metal fillings may benefit the long-term health of your teeth and gums.
At Dental Surgery Burnham, we believe prevention is always better than cure and we will help you take good care of your teeth in order not to develop tooth decay in the first place. If you do need a filling, then we recommend white fillings.
Although amalgam fillings have been exonerated by the American Dental Association as being perfectly safe and reliable, you can now replace your metal fillings safely and effectively at our practice. Amalgam replacement is a safe and controlled procedure, where your dentist will remove the metal filling, remove any decay from your tooth and replace it with a tooth coloured filling.
Research has shown that silver fillings do not support teeth properly. Essentially amalgam fillings act like wedges, and when you bite down on the filling the forces are transmitted to the remaining tooth structure. If the filling is more than about a half of the width of the tooth, it is likely that it will eventually crack, break or chip.
White, composite fillings, on the other hand, are made from very hard materials and are able to endure all kinds of forces in your mouth when you bite and chew over a long period of time. Furthermore, composite fillings have obvious cosmetic benefits, as they provide your teeth with a more natural appearance.
More importantly, composite fillings allow early detection of problems because of the staining around the edges of the sealing. If you see stains around the sealing, it means that the seal between the tooth and the filling is breaking down and this requires urgent dental care. Silver fillings, on the other hand, taint and corrode much easier than composite fillings, making it much more difficult to identify any potential problems.