Getting dental implants can have a significant impact on your health and appearance. If you are missing teeth, this is an effective treatment to regain the full function of your mouth. The process can be challenging, but the results can be positive. It will take some time to get used to the implants, and there…
FAQs – Removing an Amalgam Dental Filling
An amalgam dental filling is made from a combination of durable metals and is used to treat cavities in people ages 6 and up. Controversy surrounds the material and some patients may wish to have it removed and replaced with an alternative. Understanding this substance and the risks and benefits of removal can help individuals make an informed decision concerning their oral health.
Understanding amalgam fillings
Amalgam is a traditional material that has been used in dentistry for decades. It is especially common in children's fillings because of its lasting nature.
What are amalgam fillings made of?
Amalgam is a combination of silver, copper and tin mixed with mercury. The resulting substance is sturdy, pliable and easy to manipulate quickly. While high levels of mercury can be harmful, an amalgam dental filling contains minimal amounts and is considered safe by the FDA.
How are amalgam fillings removed?
If an individual wishes to replace this type of filling, a dentist should go through significant precautions to ensure patient safety. The heat and disruption to the metal can release mercury during the procedure. However, attention to detail can protect all involved from harmful results.
Placing a rubber dam over the mouth exposes only the affected tooth, preventing debris from falling into the mouth. Next, drilling breaks the filling into pieces during a process known as chunking. Strong suction and steady air or water flow can help keep the metal cooler, resulting in lower mercury exposure. Once the dental filling has been removed, an alternate material will be placed to repair the exposed cavity.
Alternatives to amalgam
Whether a patient is replacing an existing filling or seeking treatment for a new cavity, there are many options to choose from. A dental professional can help guide patients to the appropriate choice based on needs and overall dental health.
What other types of fillings are available to patients?
There are numerous materials that can be used to safely and effectively treat tooth decay in dental patients:
- Composite resin
- Ceramic or porcelain
- Glass ionomer
Some patients may prefer the look of gold fillings and can enjoy the durability of a metal composition without the risk of mercury exposure. Resin and ceramic fillings look the most natural by matching the general tooth color and are still relatively durable. Glass ionomer is a combination of dental cement and glass powder and is typically reserved for cavities that must be filled below the gum line.
Why might a patient request a different type of filling material?
Patients who prefer a more natural look may wish to have an amalgam dental filling removed. Others may have issues with metal sensitivity and may be allergic to some of the materials in amalgam. A dental professional can help determine if a patient is a good candidate for the procedure while offering other options to treat the affected tooth.
While an amalgam dental filling is considered safe, many patients may wish to have it removed for aesthetic purposes. Alternative materials can be used in its place, including resin or porcelain. A dental professional can help determine a proper treatment plan for patients seeking amalgam removal.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
Your dentist might ask you to wear your clear aligners for two weeks before switching to another set. But you might not know why you have to wear them for this length of time. It can be tempting to try to speed up the treatment time by putting the new set in sooner. You might…
When it comes to broken or decayed teeth, bonding is a great dental restoration option. It is not invasive, and it is easily reversible. Plus, it lasts several years. Keep reading to learn more about how the process works.Dental bonding is not such as popular dental restoration, but it is relatively affordable. Plus, patients will…
A person who is not happy with their smile due to an uneven gumline can receive cosmetic gum surgery to fix it. An irregular gumline may be from gums growing too low or receding away from teeth, causing teeth to appear overly large or small. In reality, most teeth are consistent in size, but the…