The main reason people replace their silver fillings with white ones is because of the mercury content in silver fillings

Silver fillings, known as Amalgam, contain mercury, which is a known toxin. The mercury in silver fillings is the main reason people replace their silver fillings with white ones. It’s debatable whether or not the mercury in silver fillings is harmful to your overall health. Some dentists argue that silver fillings are completely safe, since you’re not actually ingesting the mercury. Other dentists are strictly opposed to placing any form of Amalgam in your body. In fact, most cosmetic dentists don’t even offer silver fillings as a treatment option in their practices. If you’re planning on replacing your silver fillings with white fillings, you should be aware of the pros and cons of Amalgam removal. Let’s review the benefits and risks of Amalgam removal so that you can make an informed decision.

Pros of replacing silver fillings

There are several benefits to replacing silver fillings with white one. Here’s a list of the major benefits of eliminating Amalgam fillings from your mouth:

Health concerns over mercury

Amalgam fillings contain a high percentage of mercury

All silver fillings contain a high-percentage of mercury. Mercury is a heavy metal toxin and mercury ingestion can be lethal in extremely high doses. Ingesting high levels of mercury produces Mercury toxicity which has dangerous symptoms, such as:

  • Speech, vision or hearing impairment
  • Disturbed sensation
  • Lack of coordination

Despite the dangers of mercury, there’s no concrete evidence that the mercury contained in silver fillings causes any major ailments. Ultimately, you need to make a decision whether or not you’re okay with silver fillings in your mouth. If you’re worried over the safety of mercury or convinced that silver fillings adversely affect your health, then you should consider replacing them with white fillings. Talk to your dentist and come up with a plan to have your Amalgam fillings replaced.

Better aesthetics

The other reason people choose to replace their silver fillings is due to aesthetic concerns. Having lots of large silver fillings in your mouth can give you a metal-mouth appearance. These silver fillings could show up when you’re talking, smiling or taking photos. Replacing these older silver fillings with white ones is guaranteed to enhance your smile and self-confidence!

Broken and damaged fillings

Example of an old Amalgam filling that is cracked and is likely to gather cavity

More dentists are starting to move away from using silver fillings in favor of white fillings. There are lots of dental offices that offer an Amalgam-free environment. If you have several old silver fillings in your mouth, chances are they were placed decades ago. These fillings may be cracking or gathering cavities underneath them. There’s a high probability that your older Amalgam fillings are due a replacement. It might not be a bad idea to have all your Amalgam fillings replaced with newer white fillings.

Cons of Amalgam removal

Replacing silver fillings with white ones can improve your health and appearance. However, there are some risks associated with replacing your silver fillings as well. Let’s examine the risks associated with Amlagam removal from your mouth:

Developing tooth sensitivity

The larger your silver fillings, the higher your risks of developing tooth sensitivity afterward

Replacing your silver fillings with white ones can lead to tooth sensitivity. Every time an old filling is removed and replaced, there’s a chance that your tooth becomes sensitive. The larger your silver fillings, the higher your risks of developing tooth sensitivity afterward. This tooth sensitivity is usually temporary and resolves on its own within several weeks or months. However, sometimes the sensitivity ends up being permanent. You should be very cautious when replacing your existing silver fillings, especially if you have sensitive teeth or very large silver fillings.

Possibility of needing a crown or root canal

There’s always a risk of needing additional treatment whenever your dentist works on your teeth. This is no different when it comes to replacing your silver fillings with white ones. Occasionally, your replacement filling becomes painful to bite pressure. In these cases, your likely going to require a crown on your tooth. Other times, you could develop a lingering toothache that doesn’t improve with time. Unfortunately, this means that your tooth has become infected and you require a root canal! Thus, what started out as a simple Amalgam replacement, could end up being a much bigger problem.


Inlays and onlays are stronger than white fillings and a better option for replacing large Amalgam fillings

Replacing your silver fillings can be expensive, especially if you have lots of fillings in your mouth. Not all of your silver fillings can be replaced with a simple white filling. Larger silver fillings have to be replaced with an inlay, onlay, or crown instead of a white filling. The costs of replacing your Amalgam fillings with white fillings, inlays and onlays can quickly add up to several thousand dollars.

Will dental insurance cover Amalgam removal?

Dental insurance does not cover replacing silver fillings with white fillings over health concerns or for cosmetic purposes

Dental insurance only covers medically necessary treatments. This means that replacing silver fillings with white fillings for health or cosmetic concerns is not a medical necessary treatment and won’t be covered by your dental insurance. Plus, a vast majority of dental insurances only pay for silver fillings and they don’t cover white fillings (except on your front teeth). This means that you’re going to be responsible for an upgrade fee if you’re interested in placing white fillings on your teeth. On the other hand, if your Amalgam fillings break or develop cavities, then this replacement will be a covered benefit. As you can see, having dental insurance can reduce the cost of replacing silver fillings, but it won’t cover all of your expenses. Ready to replace your silver fillings with white ones? Discuss the option of Amalgam removal with your dentist to see if you’re a good candidate. Treatment is easier than you think and a healthier and more beautiful smile could be just a phone call away!


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