In an age when most people have at least one dental filling the odds are pretty good that you’re part of that group. If so, you might have questions or concerns about your fillings, especially if they are made from older metal amalgam. We hear questions about these all the time at our Indianapolis dentist office!
You may be wondering if your fillings are safe, if they need to be replaced, or if your tooth could suffer further damage from an aging filling. These are all perfectly reasonable questions to ask, especially if you’ve had your fillings for a while!
If you want to find out all about fillings you’ve come to the right place! Today we’re going to discuss fillings, their long-term outlooks, and how to replace old ones. Hopefully you’ll find answers to the questions you have!
Are Metal Amalgam Fillings Safe?
Concerns over mercury poisoning have increased a lot over the past few years, and metal amalgam is one of the subjects of worry. Amalgam is a mix of metals that does contain mercury, which makes some people wonder if they are safe.
On this point we want to clarify that yes, amalgam fillings are safe. Mercury isn’t harmful to the body unless it’s absorbed while in a gaseous state. Recent studies have shown that aging amalgam fillings can release mercury vapors, but the amount a filling exposes you to is less than your daily intake of mercury simply from eating, drinking, and existing in the world.
In short, amalgam fillings are perfectly safe.
Are Metal Amalgam Fillings Effective?
Metal amalgam is strong, has been used for years, and has been widely successful in filling teeth. That doesn’t mean that it’s without problems, though! As with any technology that exists long enough, we’ve found better solutions for filling teeth that eliminate the shortcomings of amalgam.
- Amalgam fillings don’t bond to teeth. That means more healthy tooth material has to be removed so that your metal filling can be secured in place.
- Amalgam fillings are strong, but they are also less flexible than your teeth. This can result in microfractures due to poor distribution of force, resulting in more infection and decay!
- Amalgam fillings are ugly! No one wants a huge grey blob in their tooth, especially if it’s one that is visible when you smile!
- While mercury levels in amalgam are safe, there is still concern around its use, especially in young children. Alternatives can help parents rest easier knowing that they aren’t exposing their child to mercury.
What’s The Alternative?
At Really Smile Dentistry, we are proud to offer several different dental fillings, including tooth-colored composite! Composite is made from a mixture of plastics and glass that combine to create a strong, flexible, and amazingly realistic filling! We can even match the color to your teeth for the best look possible!
Composite fillings are the newest form of dental filling materials, and they do a great job at correcting the flaws that amalgam presented. Not only do they look great, they’re also more consistent with the strength and flexibility of your natural teeth. This means that force distributes more evenly, preventing microfractures and cracking that can happen with amalgam.
Composite fillings are also great at bonding to your teeth, so there’s no need to remove healthy tooth to make it stay in place! We always want to treat your teeth conservatively, and composite allows us to do so!
Removing Old Fillings
If you need an old filling replaced, or are interested in having yours taken out, we can do it at Really Smile Dentistry! We use safe and effective methods to remove amalgam from your mouth without releasing toxic mercury gas, so you can rest easy knowing that your filling will be replaced with one that’s more effective and aesthetically pleasing!
It doesn’t matter if you need a filling replaced or simply want a more smile-friendly solution, our Carmel dentist office is here for all your needs! To find out more about your options for replacing and repairing your fillings call us today at 317-451-4050! If you’re ready to make an appointment you can do so by phone or you can fill out our convenient appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you soon!