​St. Paul Family Dentist Reviews Benefits of Removing Amalgam Fillings

Written by Drs. Mark and Rachel Malterud on Mar 24, 2015

 In the past if you had a cavity, your only option was a metal filling. But today you have a more attractive option: tooth-colored composite fillings. The results are so remarkable that many patients wonder if they should proactively replace all their metal fillings with composites.

It’s a choice that patients should make in consultation with their St. Paul Family Dentist. We can explain the ins and outs of tooth-colored fillings as well as discuss when replacing metal fillings is appropriate.

Benefits of Composite Fillings

Composites are a relatively new choice, but one that has quickly climbed in popularity for a number of reasons. A prime consideration for many patients is appearance. Restorations with composites create a tooth-colored repair that blends in with other teeth, avoiding the harsh and unattractive appearance of metal.

But composites have other advantages as well. In addition to looking natural and visually blending in with other teeth, composites:

  • Do not contain mercury
  • Bond to the tooth and strengthen it
  • Require less of the tooth to be removed to place the filling
With so many advantages, you may be weighing the benefits of swapping out your metal fillings for this more attractive option.

Reasons to Replace Amalgam Fillings

If you are thinking about replacing metal fillings, here are typical reasons to update them:

Fractured Teeth: We see many patients with amalgam fillings who have cracks all around their teeth. Why? When a dentist removes the cavity and prepares the tooth for an amalgam filling, a certain amount of tooth structure must be – removed. With composite fillings, our dentist can be conservative, and we are “bonding” to the tooth – so it becomes stronger.

Age: All fillings get old and at some point need to be replaced. Loose fillings allow bacteria to invade a tooth and introduce new decay. If your metal fillings are old, now may be the perfect time to swap them for tooth-colored composite ones.

Leakage: Amalgam fillings are not bonded to tooth structure, so overtime saliva, food, bacteria can creep down the margin of the filing into the tooth and set up tooth decay.

Cosmetic Reasons: Metal fillings were designed for function, not beauty. But in our telegenic world, many people believe an attractive smile is an important benefit that tooth-colored fillings provide.

Please Contact Us for More Information

If you’d like more information about the removal of your tooth-colored fillings, please contact the St. Paul Family Dentist, and we’ll be happy to arrange a consultation.