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Do I Need to Remove my Metal Fillings?

March 3, 2018

Woman smiling in dental chairFor many years, patients were told that tooth-colored fillings were a purely cosmetic option and that they may not be as effective in repairing damaged teeth. Today, we know this is simply not the case. In fact, for many patients, amalgam metal fillings have negatively impacted their oral and overall health and caused further damage to teeth. While dentists may not always recommend that you have your metal fillings removed right away, you should consider replacing them with tooth-colored fillings at some point. These biocompatible, natural looking restorations offer numerous benefits when compared with amalgam metal fillings.

The Disadvantages of Metal Fillings

Amalgam fillings were once considered the strongest, longest lasting restoration option, but now, we know better. There are many disadvantages to restoration using these metal fillings, including:

  • Amalgams are placed by removing healthy tooth structure to create wedges that hold the filling in place. This leads to unnecessary loss of tooth enamel that may further compromise a damaged tooth. It also means amalgam fillings are more likely to break away from the tooth.
  • Amalgam metals expand and contract at higher rates than natural tooth structure. That may cause additional damage to teeth, and it can allow bacteria to accumulate between the tooth and filling, causing decay.
  • Metal fillings are not highly biocompatible, and many patients experience sensitivities or allergies to these metals. Even those patients who do not typically have metal allergies or sensitivities may experience sensitivity to heat or cold on teeth with metal fillings.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Composite Resin Fillings

If you have one or more metal fillings, you may want to consider replacing them tooth-colored restorations. These natural looking fillings address all of the disadvantages of amalgam metals, creating gorgeous restorations that last. The advantages of tooth-colored composite resin fillings include:

  • Tooth-colored filling placement is very conservative. There is no need to remove any healthy tooth structure prior to repairing teeth with composite resin fillings. The tooth-colored filling material is applied directly to the surface of a damaged or decayed tooth where it seeps into small crevices and grooves, creating a strong, natural bond with the tooth. Composite fillings can actually hold a tooth together, making it stronger.
  • Composite resin expands and contracts much more like natural tooth structures, meaning the filling is less likely to break away from the tooth, and there is not space for bacteria to accumulate between the tooth and filling.
  • Highly biocompatible, tooth-colored fillings do not create dental sensitivity, and completely prevent the adverse responses many patients have to metal filling materials.

Meet the Vaca & Kirby Dental Team

At Vaca & Kirby Dental, we’re dedicated to helping patients of all ages keep their healthy, natural teeth for life. That’s why we’re dedicated to preventive dentistry and conservative restorations like tooth-colored fillings. If you have metal amalgam fillings you would like to have replaced or you’re in need of a new filling, please don’t hesitate to call our Longview dental office to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to helping you renew or retain your healthiest, most beautiful smile.

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