Tooth Talk With Dr. T: Amalgam Fillings

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 7:37 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Tooth Talk With Dr. T: Amalgam Fillings

Esthetic Dentistry to Indirect Resin to Amalgam Problems..1:35

For almost 150 years, dentists have used amalgam, or silver fillings, to repair teeth.

However, there are some distinct disadvantages to silver fillings.

An amalgam is a combination of elements that can include silver, tin, and copper mixed with mercury.

Because a silver filling doesn’t bond to your tooth, it must be locked into place.

This requires that we remove more healthy tooth structure than with other types of fillings.

The metal is not very stable.

Over time, moisture and temperature can make it expand and contract.

The pushing against your tooth can cause fractures or chips.

This expansion can lift the filling, creating a gap that can allow bacteria to seep in.

The metal can contract, opening a gap that can also allow bacteria in.

This expansion and contraction can stress your tooth, and could cause it to break.

Biting puts significant force on a silver filling.

And, as it ages, it can crack and break.

Silver fillings don’t match the natural color of your teeth, and they can turn black and unsightly.

An amalgam filling might cause you to be sensitive to hot or cold for awhile; over time there can be discoloration where the filling meets the tooth; and a very small percentage of people are allergic to the metal used.

We now have several options for restoring your tooth with natural-looking materials that will enhance your smile and save more healthy tooth structure.

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