If you have an amalgam filling that you would like to replace, consider visiting Pro Smile Dental Care in Danville, CA. Amalgam fillings, which are made of a mixture of metals, have a long history that dates all the way back to the 1800s. In recent years, composite tooth-colored fillings have become an increasingly popular and more aesthetically-pleasing alternative.
Types Of Fillings Explained
There are two main types of fillings: amalgam and composite. Amalgam is the most traditional type of dental filling due to its long history. They are made of a combination of mercury, silver, tin, copper, and various trace metals. They tend to be the cheapest option, but they are much more visible and may corrode or expand over time.
On the other hand, composite is the same color as your teeth, and they are less susceptible to expansion and corrosion. They are made of a mixture of plastic and glass resin rather than metal. However, they are a bit more costly and may not last as long.
Composite Vs. Metal Fillings: Safety Concerns
Many people are worried about whether mercury fillings can cause heavy metal poisoning. According to the FDA, amalgam is generally safe for healthy individuals over the age of 6. There is very little research on how these trace amounts of mercury can affect infants, people with kidney dysfunction, and people with preexisting neurological conditions.
Thus, experts usually recommend avoiding metal fillings if you are pregnant, nursing, or in one of these other high-risk populations.
Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Filling
- You experience pain, pressure, or increased sensitivity.
- The filling feels loose when you run your tongue over your tooth.
- You can see or feel a visible crack on that tooth.
- Dental floss tends to tear when you floss that region.
- You have had amalgam for 10-15 years, or a composite for 5-7 years.
What To Expect At Your Appointment
If you are experiencing any of the signs listed above, it is important to visit a dentist as soon as possible because bacteria can get trapped under the loose filling, causing rapid decay that may require a crown or root canal. Removing and replacing fillings is a simple procedure that is not unlike getting the original. The main difference is that you may need to wear an oxygen mask while the dentist is removing amalgam in order to avoid inhaling any mercury.
Amalgam Removal In California
Not everyone needs to get their silver fillings taken out right away, but it is still worth asking about at your next checkup—especially if you have had them for many years. All types of fillings need to be replaced eventually, so you might as well consider opting for the more cosmetically appealing alternative. Contact our family dentist’s office today to schedule an appointment with Pro Smile Dental Care in Danville, CA.