Many of our patients have old silver (amalgam) fillings. Some of these fillings need to be replaced for various reasons. Other people choose to replace theirs with a more cosmetic option. This blog will explain why some old silver fillings need replacement and what you can expect from the process.
There are multiple reasons that your dentist may recommend replacing old silver fillings. The bottom line is the health of the tooth. Old silver fillings can deteriorate over time, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay or tooth cracks.
Each time your dentist and dental hygienist evaluate your teeth, they are checking for continued success of all of your existing dental work. There are visual signs that a filling is no longer doing its job. There can also be signs on the dental x-rays, showing a failure of an old filling.
Any of the following issues require replacement of an old silver filling.
In general, there are three types of dental work as options for replacing old silver fillings. The selection of which is best for your specific case depends on the degree of the problem. The larger the problem, the more extensive the dental work to fix it.
For the patient, a filling replacement will not feel any different from any other dental work. The local anesthetic ensures that you do not feel any pain during the procedure. After removing the old silver filling material, your dentist prepares the tooth for the new filling, onlay, or dental crown. A new filling takes only one visit. An inlay, onlay or dental crown will take two visits with a provisional restoration.
After the replacement dental work, you can expect to feel some minor tooth sensitivity and discomfort. Any drilling on the tooth causes mild inflammation in the nerve inside the tooth. Sensitivity and tenderness on chewing is completely normal within the first 1-2 weeks after dental work.
If you experience discomfort that lasts longer than two weeks, you should come back to see us. We want to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible with all of our dental work.
Sometimes we get requests from patients to replace all of their old silver fillings. This can be due to cosmetic reasons or health reasons. A small section of the population can experience serious health problems as a result of the mercury in old silver fillings.
As far as the process for removing all of your old fillings, we approach that on a case-by-case basis. Some patients can tolerate having large amounts of dental work performed in a single visit. Others need to do the work in small increments. Your dentist will help you decide which option is best for you.
Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location today to schedule a consultation with one of our restorative dentists. We can show you which of your old fillings are at risk for problems and help you address them on your schedule.