Did you know that over 90 percent of adults will experience a cavity at some point in their lives? That means the chances you’ll have a filling are pretty high as well. It isn’t common knowledge that fillings don’t last forever, though, making old fillings a common problem for adult patients.
At Edgewood Dental Care we see a lot of patients who are dealing with fillings that have outlived their usefulness. In most cases these fillings are the old metal amalgam ones that were common up until a few years ago. With modern advances in technology, however, we’ve improved fillings so that many of the past problems are gone. If you have a metal filling that is over ten years old it might need replacing!
Why Replace A Metal Filling?
Metal amalgam has been the standard in tooth filling material for decades. It’s made of a mixture of mercury, copper, silver, and other metals that combine to create a strong and reliable supplement for damage teeth. But that doesn’t make amalgam fillings the best choice. There are a number of reasons to replace old fillings aside from just old age.
They Contain Mercury
While there has been no link found between the mercury content in fillings and the risks of mercury poisoning that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a dangerous metal in your mouth! You might not be at risk for harm but the psychological worry and stress a metal tooth filling can cause is more than enough reason to eliminate it.
When we remove metal fillings we use rubber barriers to ensure no mercury vapor touches your mouth. It’s completely safe and will leave you with peace of mind that allows you to eat, sleep, and live without worry over your dental health.
They Fall Apart
It’s a simple fact that metal fillings don’t bond to bone – they have to be cemented in place and that cement is the number one fail point! The cement used to secure metal fillings wears away over time, leading to small gaps between filling and tooth that can increase decay risk and cause sensitivity.
The longer a worn out metal filling remains in place the greater risk to the filled tooth. It isn’t uncommon for old metal fillings to be surrounded by decay that makes placing a new filling practically impossible!
The Damage Teeth
You might not realize it but your teeth are meant to flex. When you chew your teeth bend ever so slightly to allow pressure to be distributed evenly. If you put a big chunk of metal in the middle of a tooth you’re destroying its ability to flex properly, increasing the risk for invisible microfractures. These small fractures cause decay, pain, and can even lead to the loss of a tooth!
Tooth-Colored Fillings: A Better Solution
When we place new fillings or replace old ones we don’t use metal amalgam. Our state-of-the-art fillings restore your teeth invisibly and safely with dental composite! This mixture of plastic and glass is designed to mimic the strength, durability, and look of your natural teeth so that you’ll never notice it at all! There are a number of advantages to these great invisible tooth fillings:
- Dental composite is designed to bond directly to your teeth so no cement is needed. This eliminates the chance of internal decay from washed away cement and means we can make your fillings smaller!
- Composite is designed to flex and give along with your teeth – it distributes forces evenly and avoids microfractures caused by metal amalgam.
- Unlike metal amalgam composite doesn’t conduct temperature. You’ll never need to worry about heat or cold sensitivity!
Placing tooth colored fillings is quick and easy. We remove the decayed portion of your tooth and simply fill the remaining space with soft composite. Once we’ve shaped it to perfectly match the surface of your tooth we harden it with a special light, polish it, and you’re ready to enjoy a beautiful new filling!
If you have a filling that is approaching or is past the ten year mark you need to have it inspected at our Edgewood dentist office. With a quick dental exam we can ensure that your fillings are still in good shape or replace them as needed.