Dental amalgam fillings are a dental restoration used to repair cavities caused by tooth decay. The fillings are made up of a mixture of metals, including silver, copper, tin, and mercury. They are one of the most common fillings used by dentists today and have been used for over 150 years.
Dental amalgam fillings are strong and durable and can last many years. Moreover, they are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of fillings. However, there are some drawbacks to dental amalgam fillings. The most significant disadvantage is that they contain mercury, which can be toxic if released in large amounts.
In addition to mercury, amalgam fillings contain other metals that can cause teeth staining over time. While the staining is usually not noticeable, it can be more evident in people with naturally lighter teeth. Consequently, it is essential to have your amalgam fillings checked regularly by a dentist.
Another thing to consider regarding dental amalgam fillings is that they could be more aesthetically pleasing. The silver colour of the amalgam filling can stand out against the natural colour of the teeth, which can be distracting. In addition, the filling can expand and contract with changes in temperature, which can cause the filling to crack or fracture.
If you are considering dental amalgam fillings, you must talk to your dentist about potential risks. Your dentist can assess your situation and determine if amalgam fillings are the right choice.
Procedure For Getting Amalgam Fillings
Getting an amalgam filling is straightforward and can be completed in a single visit. Your dentist will first remove the decayed area of the tooth and then fill the cavity with the amalgam material. The filling will be shaped and smoothed to match your tooth’s natural shape. At this point, your dentist may also use a curing light to harden the material for a perfect finish.
Maintenance of Amalgam Fillings
It is also essential to take good care of your dental amalgam fillings. Proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly, is necessary for keeping your fillings in good condition. You should also avoid chewing hard foods and objects, as this can cause the filling to crack or fracture.
Finally, it is crucial to have your dental amalgam fillings checked regularly by your dentist. It will help ensure that the fillings are in good condition and do not release any mercury into your body. It is also essential to have any cracks or fractures in the filling repaired immediately to prevent further damage to the tooth.
Discussing the potential risks and benefits with your dentist when considering dental amalgam removal is essential. Although the removal process is relatively safe, there are potential risks associated with removing the old amalgam filling. These risks include the potential for exposure to mercury vapour, damage to the tooth structure, and the chances of an allergic reaction to the new filling material.
In addition to the potential risks associated with dental amalgam removal, it is also essential to consider the cost of the procedure. Depending on the filling material used and the complexity of the process, the cost of dental amalgam removal can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
When it comes to repairing cavities, amalgam fillings are a popular choice. They are solid and durable and can last up to 15 years or more with proper care and regular dental visits. However, it is essential to remember that amalgam fillings contain mercury and other metals that can cause teeth staining over time. Be sure to talk to your local dentist about any concerns about the safety of amalgam fillings. With proper care, your amalgam filling can help keep your teeth healthy and strong for many years.