Savage, MN -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/25/2014 -- “Almost everything wears away, and your silver fillings will be no different,” states Dr. Schultz. “They withstand stressful and heavy biting forces every day, and as they get older, they split, leak and may result in damaging fractures on teeth.” With time, metal amalgam fillings have the ability to absorb water, causing them to swell and even break away from the tooth. When this happens, your tooth is much more prone to tooth decay and tenderness.
Patients commonly cite esthetic and health concerns about their old metal fillings. Silver fillings are much less esthetic than tooth-colored fillings. “After all, they scream out, I am a metal filling put here because this person didn’t take care of their teeth very well!” remarks Dr. Schultz. Amalgam expands and shrinks when exposed to cold and hot extremes within your mouth. The frequent expansion and contraction with temperature may initiate cracks and fractures in your teeth. “Patients don’t realize that the tooth almost certainly had a crack in it well before it ultimately came apart,” states Dr. Schultz.
Other concerns are that silver fillings under regular chewing force are vulnerable to metal fatigue or bending and flexing failure, a concept that can be fully understood and shown by repeatedly bending a metal paperclip until it finally breaks. Dr. Schultz comments, “Metal fillings are much harder and less flexible than the teeth they are wedged into. The more time they are on the teeth, the greater force they put on the rest of the weak surfaces of the tooth leading to fractures and cracks.” Metal fillings are not cemented into the tooth cavity. They simply sit in the tooth and react under pressure to wedge the tooth apart. Composite fillings, however, are actually glued to the tooth surface and seal the margins closed from invading bacteria.
To get a tooth ready for a composite filling, the tooth can usually be treated more gently and with less healthy tooth structure needing to be removed. Many dentists say that, bonded tooth-colored restoratives are probably safer compared to conventional fillings, given that they do not include mercury. While the American Dental Association (ADA) states the use of mercury in metal fillings is harmless, there is an ongoing discussion inside the dental field regarding the adverse effects of mercury amalgam fillings.
About Dr. Schultz
If you want to get rid of your amalgam/silver fillings call 952-894-2545 and make an appointment with Dr. Schultz. He completed his graduate studies in 1998 at the University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry. Dr. Schultz has taken continuing education classes from Dr. Pete Dawson and Dr. Frank Spear. He is an active member of the following: American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, and the Minnesota Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Schultz received his Mastership award in the Academy of General Dentistry and he is currently the president of the Minnesota Academy of General Dentistry.