The 5 things you do not know about silver fillings (Amalgam Restorations)
They are still one of the most common types of fillings placed today in Canada. Silver fillings are still commonly placed on posterior teeth. They are often used in areas where saliva and bleeding can contaminate white restorations. Silver fillings can also be used as a foundation filling before a crown, although it can discolor the final crown color.
They are a blend of mercury, silver, copper and tin.
Silver fillings are also known as amalgam. By definition amalgams are mixtures or blends of different materials. The metal are mixed together in a small capsule and packed into place into the tooth. Excess force is used to condense the fillings. The mercury content in the amalgam is not the elemental mercury that is harmful to patients. My binding to the other metals, the metal alloy that results is not harmful to patients or the doctors that place them. To future protect patients a rubber dam is often used when placing or removing silver fillings to limit the ingestion of the material. At Kanaka Creek Family dental we fully inform patient of all procedures and can remove silver fillings at the request of patient.
Numerous studies have been done to prove they are safe to use in the mouth and do NOT cause illness
According to the Canadian Dental Association: “Current scientific evidence on the use of dental amalgam supports that amalgam is an effective and safe filling material that provides a long-lasting solution for a broad range of clinical situations.” However, if you feel you no longer want the silver fillings in your mouth we will remove them from your mouth.
Silver fillings are not bonded (integrated) into the tooth, they sit mechanically locked in.
Unlike white fillings (also knowns as composites) silver filings are not bonded to the teeth. Silver fillings have been used for decades in dentistry and mechanically lock into teeth. Therefore they often require the removal of more tooth structure in order to lock in the filling. Unfortunately, healthy tooth structure must be removed in order to create the appropriate shape for retention.
Large silver fillings cause microcracks and severely discolors teeth black.
As the silver fillings are locking to the tooth, they often will cause cracks that lead to sensitivity and cracks. These cracks often require treatment with root canals (as nerve damage often occurs) and replacement with a full coverage crown or cap. The silver filling will also discolor teeth over time, requiring more tooth structure to be removed in order to remove the black discoloration. Alternatively, crowns can be placed to block the discoloration.
Here at Kanaka Creek Family dental make it our priority to keep patients informed of their options and the long term effects of our work.