You’ve had them since you were twelve – they feel just fine – in fact you wouldn’t even know you had metal fillings in your mouth. Metal fillings – nobody can fault them for their potential longevity, but are they hurting your smile more than you realize?
Why Replace Amalgam?
Amalgam fillings are an alloy of materials, consisting of mercury, silver, copper, tin and other trace metals – a popular material, once used regularly to restore teeth that had decay or were broken. Over the years dental materials have advanced significantly, especially in the availability of filling materials that not only provide the same strength and durability as silver fillings – but are esthetically pleasing and don’t possess the same negative characteristics like amalgam. Calgary General Dentists at Apple Dental Group on Elbow Drive explain that amalgam restorations don’t strengthen teeth, but do in fact increase a tooth’s risk of fracturing over time. Because of the mercury content a silver filling has the capacity to expand and contract with the variance of food and drink temperatures. This expansion and contraction can put pressure on the supporting tooth structure, causing cracks and fractures and in time breakage of the tooth. Placing a metal filling also requires way more removal of healthy tissue to create an adequate fit – further compromising a tooth’s integrity.
Advantages White Fillings Offer
Apart from the obvious advantage of placing a material that is a close match to a patient’s natural tooth color – there are numerous other advantages offered by white fillings. The first is that it involves a conservative method of placement – so more natural tooth structure can be preserved and the filling only has to be as large as the decay or fracture. How it is placed also provides an advantage – the bonded application actually adds strength to the tooth as it acts as a reinforcement, rather than an antagonist. Other advantages are that the filling itself can be easily repaired if chipped down the road and the tooth is at less risk for further decay due to the sealing aspect of the material.
Metal fillings should be replaced if the structure and integrity of the material no longer performs under normal conditions. Talk to your Calgary Dentist today about options for replacing metal fillings – as white fillings aren’t the only choice – gold, porcelain and ceramic may also be used.