Should a Silver Dental Filling Always Be Removed?

Composite Fillings Springfield Township, NJ

A silver amalgam dental filling can be used to close up a cavity and prevent it from getting larger. The material can also be used to repair teeth structures that have been damaged by tooth decay. Amalgam fillings were once the standard way to seal fillings, but they are losing their popularity due to issues like poor aesthetics.

Better alternatives like composite resin fillings are now becoming the new standard. Composite fillings are just as affordable as silver fillings and lead to improved aesthetics.

Figuring out if a silver dental filling should be removed

Using a silver dental filling to fill up a cavity is an outdated approach to treating tooth decay. This material has been used for this purpose for over two centuries, so it only makes sense that better materials have been developed over the years.

Silver amalgam fillings contain metals like tin, copper, nickel, silver and mercury. This makes them quite durable, and they are less likely to develop micro leaks where the filling and tooth meet. Recurring tooth decay is rare in amalgam fillings because some compounds that are emitted as these restorations erode are toxic to bacteria.

However, these benefits are not always enough to compensate for the disadvantages of silver dental fillings. Reasons that dentists recommend replacing outdated silver fillings include:

  • The metals used to make amalgam fillings expand as they corrode, which can lead to teeth becoming damaged as the expansion of the fillings places pressure on their structures
  • Silver amalgam fillings have a dark gray color and can lead to poor aesthetics
  • There are alternatives like composite resin and porcelain fillings that can be color-matched with the rest of the patient's teeth

Other ways to treat cavities

Let us take a closer look at popular alternatives to silver amalgam fillings.

1. Composite resin

This is arguably the most popular type of fillings nowadays. The material used is biocompatible and does not expand over time. It can be matched with the rest of the patient's teeth, making it virtually impossible to tell if a person has teeth that have been repaired with composite bonding. Just as is the case with silver fillings, the process can be completed during a single visit to the dentist.

2. Porcelain

Porcelain resin fillings lead to the best aesthetics, but they are a pricier option than composite resin fillings. This type of filling is typically made in a dental lab, then cemented to the patient's tooth. That means getting porcelain fillings often requires two trips to the dentist because it can take up to two weeks for a dental lab to make the restoration.

Fix your damaged teeth

Call or visit our Springfield Township clinic if you want to replace your silver amalgam fillings with better alternatives. Our dentist will educate you about your best options.

Request an appointment here: or call Smilow Family Dentistry, P.C. at (973) 343-0600 for an appointment in our Springfield Township office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Filling in Springfield Township, NJ.

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