Years ago, amalgam was the standard filling used by dentists. With advancements in cosmetic dentistry Barrie, the silver amalgam was replaced with tooth colored fillings. If you go to a cosmetic dentist today, they are likely to recommend the colored fillings over amalgam. This is because the colored fillings prevent several problems associated with amalgam fillings. Another reason they are preferred is because they strengthen the teeth. If you had amalgam fillings years ago, you should visit a dental clinic to have them replaced with the teeth colored fillings.
Below are the reasons why:
Amalgam is a metal and thus responds to changes in temperature. Therefore the fillings can expand and contract when you take cold and hot drinks or food. The change in size might lead to formation of cavities from underneath. As the fillings shrink, they leave small gaps which are filled by bacteria. Thus even if the tooth was filled properly, you are still at risk of developing new cavities as amalgam changes in size.
The main function of amalgam fillings is to cover the opening that resulted from the cavity and protect the root and nerves. The filling does not strengthen the tooth and over time it may cause it to crack. The filling does not adhere to the tooth structure and thus can’t strengthen the tooth. Colored fillings adhere to the tooth structure thus strengthening the tooth. This also prevents the problems of chipping, cracking and breaking.
Since amalgam does not adhere to the tooth, it can become loose and fall off anytime. The filling may come out when you are chewing food. This is very risky since you can easily swallow pieces of the substance or you could end up with injuries. It can also be very embarrassing when it happens in public.
With amalgam fillings, tooth decay can easily go unnoticed. The silver amalgam blocks the underneath surface thus making it hard to detect cavities during dental X-rays. This makes it hard to detect and correct problems early enough.
In addition to tooth decay, the amalgam fillings also hide cracks on the tooth. Unnoticed cracks could lead to more serious health issues such as the tooth splitting.
By replacing amalgam fillings with tooth colored filling, you will be able to avoid the above problems. If you have several amalgam fillings, you can replace them one at a time starting with the one with the biggest risk or biggest amalgam filling. A dentist will advise you on where to start if you have several fillings. You can start with any tooth but it is best to start with the molars since this is where you exert the most force when you bite down.
Many people wait until they feel pain before they consider amalgam replacement. Waiting for discomfort is not advisable as it will result to a more costly procedure. One may end up having a root canal done and crown fitted. Having the filling replaced right away will give you peace of mind in knowing that you don’t anticipate any problems and huge medical bills in the future.