Replacement Of Old Metal Fillings
Metal fillings are often highly noticeable and can detract from the beauty of your smile. However, the aesthetic disadvantages of metal fillings are not the only reason to consider having them removed and replaced. Our Arlington cosmetic dentist provides porcelain fillings, inlays, and onlays for the replacement of metal restorations, and would be happy to discuss this option with you during your regularly scheduled dental appointments.
If you live in or around Arlington and would like to replace your old metal fillings, please contact Dental Associates of Arlington or call (781) 648-0279 today to schedule an appointment with our general dentist.
Reasons to Consider Replacing Metal Fillings
Metal fillings do not look natural and can negatively impact the appearance of your smile. In addition, metal fillings are not bonded to the tooth, which can allow for them to come loose or fall out over time. Because the amalgams used in metal fillings are prone to expand and contract with temperature fluctuations in your mouth, metal fillings are likely to cause internal damage to teeth as well.
As a practitioner of holistic dentistry, our Arlington dental practice is concerned about mercury content and other harmful substances in metal fillings. While the debate over the harm caused by mercury in fillings continues, even the chance of ill-effects is enough for our cosmetic dentist practice to choose a metal-free dentistry practice. With this in mind, great care is taken in removing metal fillings to help guard against the release of mercury vapor during your appointment.
All Fillings Have a Life Expectancy
Metal amalgam fillings are designed to last for about ten years. At that point there’s a good chance that the cement holding it in place is partially dissolved, which can make the filled tooth susceptible to decay from within! If your metal amalgam filling is over ten years old it’s definitely time to replace it!
We use tooth-colored dental composite for our fillings. Made from a mixture of glass and plastic, dental composite is the newest technology in dental fillings. It’s safer, looks better, and acts more like real tooth. That’s just the beginning of why composite fillings are the best choice!
Eliminate Potential Health Hazards
Metal amalgam is a mixture of different metals with the main component being mercury. While it hasn’t been proven conclusively that mercury in dental fillings is dangerous to your health you still have a right to be concerned
We can remove old amalgam fillings all while protecting you from potential mercury dust or fumes that could be part of removal. After it’s removed we can refill your tooth or we may place a crown, depending on the health of the natural portion.
Composite Fillings Are Easier on Your Teeth
You may not realize it but your teeth are actually slightly flexible. When you chew your teeth bend to distribute forces evenly, but metal amalgam doesn’t bend in the same way as natural teeth. The uneven distribution of force can lead to microfractures in your teeth that put you at risk for cavities and painful sensitivity.
Dental composite is designed to behave just like natural tooth. It bends and flexes along with your teeth to make the distribution of force perfectly natural and safe. Your teeth will be able to do every bit of moving they need to stay healthy and safe!
No Cement to Rinse Away Over Time
Amalgam fillings don’t naturally bond with your teeth – they have to be cemented in place. This leads to two problems: first is the need for cement that wears out quicker than the amalgam itself, and second is the need for larger fillings that use deep channels to help keep them in place.
When filling cement breaks off and rinses away you’re left with small gaps between filling and tooth. These kinds of spaces are the exact ones that bacteria loves to hide in and a cavity that starts inside your tooth is unnoticeable and hard to treat! There’s also the need for extra drilling in order to make the filling stay in place. That means more healthy, natural tooth is lost to metal!
Thankfully Composite fillings avoid both these problems. Not only are they formulated to bond to your teeth but that bond means they can be made only as large as the cavity demands! Unfortunately this doesn’t matter when it comes to replacing a filling but it’s good news for any future filling needs you have!
Eliminate Temperature Sensitivity
Metal fillings conduct heat and cold – not fun when drinking coffee or eating ice cream. Many patients who have amalgam fillings report sensitivity for their entire lives. Replacing those metal fillings with composite will finally grant relief, as the plastic and glass mix doesn’t conduct temperature at all!
Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth colored fillings are made from nontoxic and strong materials such as porcelain. The materials used for white fillings is be bonded to the surface of the tooth, preventing them from falling out. These fillings are not impacted by heat or cold, and will not change shape or harm your teeth.
Replacing Metal Fillings Risks
Metal fillings also know as dental amalgam or silver filling contains elemental mercury. It releases low levels of mercury vapor that can be inhaled. High levels of mercury vapor exposure are associated with adverse effects in the brain and the kidneys.
FDA has reviewed the best available scientific evidence to determine whether the low levels of mercury vapor associated with dental amalgam fillings are a cause for concern. Based on this evidence, FDA considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults and children ages 6 and above. The amount of mercury measured in the bodies of people with dental amalgam fillings is well below levels associated with adverse health effects. Even in adults and children ages 6 and above who have fifteen or more amalgam surfaces, mercury exposure due to dental amalgam fillings has been found to be far below the lowest levels associated with harm. Clinical studies in adults and children ages 6 and above have also found no link between dental amalgam fillings and health problems.
There is limited clinical information about the potential effects of metal fillings know as dental amalgam fillings on pregnant women and their developing fetuses, and on children under the age of 6, including breastfed infants. However, the estimated amount of mercury in breast milk attributable to dental amalgam is low and falls well below general levels for oral intake that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers safe. FDA concludes that the existing data support a finding that infants are not at risk for adverse health effects from the breast milk of women exposed to mercury vapor from dental amalgam. The estimated daily dose of mercury vapor in children under age 6 with dental amalgams is also expected to be at or below levels that the EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consider safe. Pregnant or nursing mothers and parents with young children should talk with their dentists if they have concerns about dental amalgam.
Some individuals have an allergy or sensitivity to mercury or the other components of dental amalgam (such as silver, copper, or tin). Dental amalgam might cause these individuals to develop oral lesions or other contact reactions. If you are allergic to any of the metals in dental amalgam, you should not get amalgam fillings. You can discuss other treatment options with your Arlington dentist.
Replacing Metal Fillings with Composite
Advances in modern dental composite materials and techniques increasingly offer new ways to create more pleasing, natural-looking smiles. Researchers are continuing their often decades-long work developing esthetic materials, such as porcelain and composite compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. As a result, dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials used to replace metal filling repair, broken teeth or teeth with cavities.
The advent of these new materials has not eliminated the usefulness of more traditional dental restoratives, which include gold, metal alloys and dental amalgam know as metal fillings. The strength and durability of traditional dental composite materials continue to make them useful for situations where restored teeth must withstand extreme forces that result from chewing, such as in the back of the mouth.
Replacing Metal Fillings with Porcelain
Replacing metal filling also know as Amalgam, with porcelain depends on the metal filling condition and your dentist's recommendation. They may be replace for cast gold restorations, porcelain, and composite resins. Gold and porcelain restorations take longer to make and can require two appointments. Porcelain fillings, or white fillings, are esthetically appealing, but require a longer time to place.
Don’t Leave That Metal Sitting There!
There are a lot of reasons to replace an amalgam filling. If you have any more questions about the safety, practicality, or benefit of eliminating metal fillings don’t hesitate to contact us! We’d also love to have you visit for a consultation and exam of your fillings.
To learn more about replacing metal fillings, please contact our experienced cosmetic dentist today. Based in Arlington, we also serve patients in Belmont, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Somerville, Watertown, and Winchester.