Nowadays, cavities are filled with composite fillings, but those of us who are over a certain age may have had a cavity filled with a metal amalgam filling when we were younger. Are you concerned that those amalgam fillings might be dangerous? Are you tired of seeing those ugly metal fillings when you look in the mirror? Are you wondering if it’s time that you have that amalgam filling replaced with a new, composite one? Here are some facts about amalgam fillings to help you decide if you should visit your dentist soon for new fillings!
The problems with amalgam fillings
For many, the main concern about amalgam fillings is that they were made with mercury in them. However, you don’t have to worry – research has shown that any mercury absorbed by the body from dental fillings is minimal and therefore harmless.
There may be other reasons to consider replacing old fillings, though. Amalgam fillings typically only last about 15 years, although some of them can last for decades, so it may be about time to have them replaced before they start to break down. The metals in these fillings can make them very durable, but because they are made of metal, they can also be subject to changes in temperature, which can cause them to expand and contract. This can weaken the tooth’s structure or even cause it to break. Hot and cold are also easily conducted through metal, which can cause some tooth pain or discomfort.
Another problem with amalgam fillings is their appearance. Composite fillings, which are made of porcelain, blend in with the surrounding teeth and are basically indistinguishable from them, whereas metal fillings are quite obvious. If you are spending time and money to improve your smile, replacing metal fillings may be a good place to start.
If you are concerned about your old amalgam fillings, think they may be damaged, or just want to replace that ugly old metal with a more aesthetic option, Dr. Samuel Jirik and his staff can help. Call the office in Cabot, Arkansas, at (501) 843-9561 for an appointment today!