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Should a Silver Dental Filling Always Be Replaced?
Many people are concerned about amalgam fillings, also known as a silver dental filling. The main concern is that mercury may be released from the filling. This can cause negative effects on your general health. You might be wondering if you should have your silver fillings replaced. Read on to learn more.
What is mercury?
Mercury is a highly toxic substance. It should be avoided whenever possible. Silver fillings have silver, mercury, tin, copper and other types of metals. These metals mix together to form a type of alloy. The body does not need mercury. In fact, the less mercury, the better.
Mercury can leak from amalgam fillings in small amounts. When mercury is absorbed by the body in large enough amounts, health problems can occur. Amalgam releases mercury vapors. However, generally, this is less than the maximum recommended limit. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only recommends 0.4 micrograms per kilogram of body weight.
More research is needed to determine how much mercury will cause health problems. According to the American Dental Association, dental amalgam fillings are not considered adverse. The World Health Organization has said that there are no studies on the negative effects of silver fillings.
Should silver fillings be replaced?
If a silver dental filling is in good condition, it most likely does not need to be replaced. If there are signs of decay, cracking or chipping, then there is a good reason to replace it. A patient may also wish to replace a silver dental filling for cosmetic reasons. However, if the filling has no signs of problems, then it can be left alone.
Choosing the right dental filling
It may be a good idea for patients to avoid choosing a silver dental filling in the future. A silver filling does not bond to the teeth. This means that if the tooth has been weakened because of a cavity, the dental filling will not strengthen it. When a silver filling is used, the tooth can eventually crack because the filling is wedged into the tooth, pushing it outward. The silver dental filling also requires more of the tooth to be removed.
Composite dental fillings have become more advanced. Now, patients can get these fillings to bind to the teeth. This will place an inward pressure on the teeth, pulling it together. This keeps the tooth stronger, so it is less likely to crack. The composite dental filling is also colored like the patient’s natural teeth.
Visit a dentist near you today
Like other fillings, a silver dental filling only needs to be replaced when it is worn down. That includes recurrent decay, rough surfaces or cracked teeth. However, you can leave it alone if it does not have any of these issues. If you want to replace your dental filling for other reasons, you have options to choose from. Making an appointment with your dentist is the first step to improve your oral health.
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