Should You Replace Your Silver Fillings?

Silver looks great as jewelry, but it doesn’t look quite as nice in your teeth and mouth.

Getting through life without a filling is almost an impossible accomplishment to reach. Most of us between 30 and 65+ have already had at least one cavity.  And the odds are high that our fillings were made of a greyish metal amalgam.  A noticeable silver spot that can be seen whenever we laugh or smile.

should you replace your silver fillings? These silver fillings used to the only option available when you had a cavity and needed a filling. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. When you have a cavity now, we can skip the metal during your visit with us for your fillings. In fact, here at Beffa Dental, we only use tooth colored composite fillings.

Why? Partly because of the health risks associate4d with metal amalgam fillings, but mostly because our tooth colored fillings look great (no more silver!) and they function way better too!

We now only use these white fillings for our patients who have new cavities, but we also get a lot of requests from patients to replace their old silver fillings with tooth colored ones.

So, why replace your silver fillings?

5 Reasons to Replace Your Silver Fillings!

  1. Silver Fillings Leak – Our composite fillings are bonded to your teeth, while an amalgam filling is packed into an area of your tooth. The longevity of an amalgam filling is usually around 10 years. As time goes by, these fillings start wear away and “leak”, opening up areas where bacteria can sneak in and cause tooth decay. As the amalgam cavity wears out, the continued decay of the tooth may lead to needing a dental crown instead of just another filling. Have your old fillings checked out to see if they’re due for a replacement or if they’re leaking.
  2. There’s Mercury in Amalgam – Around 50% of an amalgam filling is made up of mercury, which can potentially be a health risk to some patients. While on-going research and debate continues regarding the potential dangers of amalgam, peace of mind is a good consideration for many patients.
  3. Metal Fillings React to Temperature Changes – Metal expands and contracts with temperature changes. Since an amalgam filling is made of around 50% mercury, a metal, used in thermometers, it adjusts to the temperature. When you drink something hot, the amalgam filling will expand and place a lot of extra strain on your tooth, which can eventually lead to cracks and fractures. And when you eat something cold, like ice cream, these fillings contract, creating a gap around the filling and your tooth. These on-going expansions and contractions will weaken your tooth and eventually cause the tooth to break. When the tooth does break, it’ll probably need a dental crown too, as the break will be too large for a filling to fix.
  4. Composite Fillings Can Strengthen Your Tooth – Because amalgam fillings act like a pot-hole filling, there is no attachment of filling to the tooth. Composite fillings not only fill the cavity but are also designed to bond directly to your tooth, so that the filling and tooth work together, not against each other, as can happen with amalgam fillings. When a tooth with a filling gives under force, the amalgam doesn’t (it’s a solid and immovable pothole) and this creates an uneven distribution of force that can damage the non-filling areas of your tooth – cracks and fractures.
  5. Tooth Colored Fillings are Invisible – Silver spots be gone! Because composite fillings are tooth colored, and we make them to match the look of your teeth, they are virtually invisible. When you smile or laugh now, nobody can see your fillings or notice how many fillings you’ve had!

So, should you rock on without the metal, and switch out your old amalgam fillings? That’s a personal decision which comes down to how you feel about aesthetics, comfort, functionality and possibly your peace of mind, regarding any health issues.

If you do feel you’re ready to bid farewell to those silver spots in your smile, or you just want to learn more about composite fillings, please schedule a consultation with us. Just call us at (206) 242 -0066 or reach out to us online! We’ll examine any of your existing fillings, help you determine a replacement plan and provide you with more information on composite fillings or other possible cosmetic options.

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