Should I replace my silver fillings with white fillings?

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The mercury content in silver fillings is the main reason people elect to replace their silver fillings with white ones.

Silver fillings, known as Amalgam, contain mercury, which is a known toxin. The mercury content in silver fillings is the main reason people elect to replace their silver fillings with white ones. However, it is 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 content. Other dentists are strictly opposed to using any form of Amalgam. In fact, some dentists don’t even offer silver fillings as a treatment option in their practice.

If you are planning on replacing your silver fillings with white fillings, you should be aware of the pros and cons of Amalgam removal treatment. We will review the benefits and risks of Amalgam removal so that you can make an informed decision on what’s best for you.

Pros of removing silver dental fillings:

There are several benefits to replacing your silver Amalgam fillings with white fillings. Here is a list of some major benefits of eliminating Amalgam fillings in your mouth:

Health concerns over mercury

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Amalgam fillings contain a high percentage of mercury in them.

All silver fillings contain a high percentage of mercury in them. Mercury is a known heavy metal toxin. Ingesting high levels of mercury will produce Mercury toxicity which has many dangerous symptoms, such as:

  • Impairment of speech, vision or hearing
  • Disturbed sensation
  • Lack of coordination
  • Mercury ingestion can be lethal in very high doses

Despite the dangers of mercury itself, there’s no concrete evidence that the mercury contained in silver fillings causes major ailments. Ultimately, whether or not silver fillings are dangerous to your health is a decision that you need to make. If you’re worried over the safety of mercury in your mouth or if you’re convinced that silver fillings are adversely affecting your health, then you should consider replacing them. Talking to your dentist about the option of having your Amalgam fillings replaced with a safer option.

Better aesthetics

The next most important reason people choose to replace 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 are talking, smiling and taking photos. Replacing these older, silver fillings with white ones is guaranteed to enhance your smile as well as self-confidence.

Replacing broken and damaged fillings

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Example of an old Amalgam dental filling that is cracking and gathering cavities underneath them.

Many dentists nowadays 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. This is primarily the result of health concerns over mercury as well as cosmetic demands of today’s patients. If you have many older silver fillings in your mouth, chances are they were placed decades ago. These fillings may be cracking or gathering cavities underneath them. Consequently, there is a high probability that your older Amalgam fillings are due a replacement. It might not be a bad idea to consider having all your Amalgam fillings replaced at this point.

Cons of replacing Amalgam fillings

As mentioned above, replacing silver fillings with white ones can improve your health and appearance. Now lets take a look at the risks associated with Amlagam removal in favor of white composite fillings:

Developing tooth sensitivity

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The larger your silver fillings, the higher the risks associated with developing tooth sensitivity.

Replacing your silver fillings with white ones could lead to tooth sensitivity. The larger your silver fillings, the higher the risks associated with developing tooth sensitivity. Every time an old filling is removed and replaced, there is a chance that your tooth becomes sensitive. Usually, the tooth sensitivity is temporary and resolves on its own within several weeks or months. However, sometimes the sensitivity ends up being permanent and won’t go away. You should be very cautious when considering replacing your existing silver fillings if you already have sensitive teeth or have very large existing silver fillings.

Risk of needing a crown or root canal

There is always an inherit risk associated with replacing any dental filling. This is no different when it comes to replacing your silver fillings with white ones. Occasionally, your replacement filling can become painful to bite pressures. In these cases, your tooth most likely requires a crown instead of a filling. Other times, you could develop a lingering toothache that doesn’t improve with time. Should this occur, you require a root canal treatment to eliminate the pain. So what started out with a simple replacement filling, could end up being much more problematic.

Expenses

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

Replacing your silver fillings could end up being quite expensive, especially if you have lots of fillings. Additionally, not all silver fillings can be replaced with a simple dental filling. Most large silver fillings have to be replaced with an inlay or onlay crown instead of a filling. Inlays and onlays are stronger than white fillings, thus a better option for replacing large Amalgam fillings. As a result, the costs of replacing Amalgam fillings with composite, inlays and onlays can quickly add up.

Will dental insurance cover replacing Amalgam fillings with composite?

Dental insurance only covers medically necessary treatments. Replacing silver fillings with white ones for health or aesthetic concerns is considered a non-medical treatment. As a result, your dental insurance won’t cover the treatment. Additionally, a vast majority of dental insurances only pay for silver fillings, not white ones, on back teeth. This means that you are going to be responsible for the upgrade fee associated with a white filling. Of course, if your Amalgam filling breaks or develops a cavity, then the replacement will be a covered benefit. So while having dental insurance can reduce the cost of replacing silver fillings, it won’t cover all of your expenses.

Amalgam removal in Orange County:

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We offer Amalgam replacement option with white fillings, inlays, onlays and ceramic crowns.

Call us to schedule your appointment if you’re interested in learning more about replacing your Amalgam fillings. We offer Amalgam replacement option with white fillings, inlays, onlays and ceramic crowns. Schedule your complimentary consultation by calling us at (949) 481-2540 or book online today. During your consultation, we will access your fillings to see if you’re a good candidate for Amalgam removal treatment. Additionally, we will review treatment costs and present you with flexible financing options if needed. Don’t wait any longer, book your consultation with us today to experience a healthier and more beautiful smile.


1 Comment

Angela Waterford · September 3, 2019 at 3:41 pm

It’s true that silver fillings can give me a metal-mouth appearance, which is something that I don’t really like. I think I’ll ask a dentist if I can get metal-free fillings instead since I’ve heard that they tend to be a healthier option. In addition to that, they also look more natural.

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