When Should You Replace Your Metal Fillings with Composite Fillings?

November 20, 2018 - 8 minutes read

In the past, it was normal for dentists to use metal or amalgam fillings to fill your teeth after cavities were removed. However, after the concern about mercury poisoning caused by amalgam fillings and the unsightly appearance of metal fillings, dentists and patients are now opting for composite fillings to treat their teeth. At Dayton Valley Dental Care, we prefer to give our patients composite fillings that last long and look great! If you have old metal fillings, it might be time to have them replaced with composite fillings. Find out if you should replace your metal fillings with composite fillings.

Your Teeth Are Fractured

One of the top reasons you should replace your metal fillings with composite fillings is because your teeth are fractured. In other words, one tooth has multiple metal fillings. This can actually lead to fractures in your teeth because when your cavity was removed, your dentist may have taken too much tooth structure. As a result, your tooth has more amalgam material than it needed which can make your tooth weak. This is what happens your dentist does not take the conservative approach, taking as little tooth material as possible.

Your Fillings are Old

Another reason you should replace your metal fillings with composite fillings is that your amalgam fillings are old. It’s normal to replace old fillings before they break and open your tooth up to the possibility of infection. If it’s been years since your metal fillings have been placed, it might be a good idea to get those replaced before they break and cause you significant pain and expensive dental treatments to fix. If your fillings are old, now might be the time to consider replacing those metal fillings.

Your Fillings are Leaking

Amalgam or metal fillings do not bond to your tooth structure, as a result, it’s normal for saliva, food debris or even bacteria to enter your tooth in small spaces of your filling. This can set you up for tooth decay or even more cavities. This is not ideal after already having a cavity filled. Avoid the possibility of this from happening when you replace your metal fillings with composite fillings.

You Don’t Like the Way Metal Fillings Look

Have you ever looked in your mouth at your metal fillings and hated the way they looked? If you answered yes to this, you’re not alone. If you have had dental work done, it would be better if it looked like you never had any done in the first place. When you replace your metal fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings, nobody will be able to tell that you have fillings in your mouth. For more of a natural appearance in your mouth, replace your metal fillings with composite fillings.

You’re Concerned About Mercury Poisoning

In about 50% of metal fillings, there are traces of mercury. This can actually be a potential health risk to patients as it is unknown how much mercury the body can ingest without damage. Although this is a huge debate in the dental field, it might be smart to avoid metal fillings if possible.

Composite Fillings Give Your Teeth Strength

Metal fillings are not the strongest option when it comes to restoring strength to your tooth following a cavity. Think of metal fillings like filling potholes. It doesn’t cling to the tooth but it will get the job done. However, over time, the filling will fall out and it will need to be fixed again just like a pothole. With composite fillings, on the other hand, the composite material bonds to the tooth. As a result, your tooth actually gains strength. It won’t break under force or cause your tooth fractures of cracks.

Composite Fillings Don’t React to Temperature Changes

If you have experienced discomfort with your amalgam fillings when you drink something hot or something cold, this is from the metal fillings contracting with temperature changes. When you expose your filling to something hot, the metal filling expands in your tooth, causing strain. When you have something cold, the metal filling retracts, leaving empty spaces in your tooth. This can cause cracks and fractures to your tooth as well as some discomfort. With composite fillings, you don’t experience this. The composite material stays the same in your tooth regardless of what temperature you put in your mouth.

Metal Fillings Have a Short Lifespan

Composite fillings are bonded to your tooth while metal fillings are just filling the hole. Unfortunately, amalgam fillings last an average of 10 years before they need to be replaced. It’s also normal for these fillings to wear over time, potentially exposing your tooth to decay and bacteria. This can result in tooth decay and future dental procedures to fix your tooth.

What You Should Consider Before Replacing Your Metal Fillings

Before you go out and have your metal fillings replaced in Dayton Valley, you should take a few things into consideration. First, the FDA has not to support patients who want to remove and replace their metal fillings if they have no become old or began breaking. There are concerns that removing the fillings prematurely can be harmful. In addition, when your metal fillings have been replaced, you will notice that your teeth become sensitive for the next two weeks or so. If you’re okay with these risks then feel free going forward in replacing your metal fillings with beautiful composite colored tooth fillings.

Replace Your Metal Fillings with Composite Fillings in Dayton Valley Today

If you are ready to replace your unsightly metal fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings, it’s time to give Dayton Valley Dental Care a call or fill out our online form today to schedule your appointment. We’re happy to answer any questions you have or educate you more about the process.