Silver Fillings: Out with the Old, In with the New

St-Charles-Cosmetic-DentistVery few dentists are still placing silver fillings (amalgams) anymore. Though these fillings were very good at the time, they have largely been phased out, as more dentists and patients are turning to tooth colored composite fillings. Regarding dental materials and procedures, your St. Charles cosmetic dentist routinely seeks out opportunities to provide you with the highest quality dentistry, and even a simple dental filling is no exception.

Silver fillings are strong, but not indestructible. Whereas many patients can report that they last had fillings placed 20-30 years ago, these restorations will eventually break down and deteriorate. Silver fillings are known to chip and fracture.  Expansion and contraction of the metal filling causes stress to the tooth.  It is common for patients with large silver fillings to be seen in the dental office with a portion of the tooth and silver filling broken off.  The restoration can sometimes be replaced with the composite filling or a crown.

As a proactive measure, many patients opt to have the large or discolored silver fillings removed and replaced with a composite before the chance of breakage increases.  In fact, your dentist will evaluate your existing fillings at each visit in order to identify any failing restorations.

Replacing your silver fillings with composite resins may also provide peace of mind when considering the likelihood of leakage.  Silver fillings may separate from the enamel and leak, allowing decay to spread underneath the filling.  Silver fillings that are leaking often show clinical signs such as a gray shadow around the edge of the existing filling or increasing sensitivity to temperature and sweets.

You may still be benefitting from the high quality silver fillings that were placed during your adolescent years.  However, if your cosmetic dentist in St. Charles has mentioned that your fillings are failing or deteriorating, the next step may be a newer, more modern tooth-colored restoration.

Learn more about upgrading your smile today by saying “Goodbye” to the old silver fillings and “Hello” to the new standard in dentistry.