Why Replace Silver Fillings?
Over time, silver tooth fillings will breakdown the remaining natural tooth. Since silver is a metal, it can undergo expansion and contraction with change in temperature. We drink coffee and eat ice cream, which results in cracks in our teeth around the metal filling. The crack that we see around the silver fillings is like a crack in the windshield of a car and, with further stresses, the tooth can end up breaking. While we do not believe silver fillings to be innately harmful, we do take precaution when removing them. We use an isolation system, such as a rubber dam or isolite, which ensures that our patients do not swallow the silver upon removal. Our suction systems have silver traps which keeps the filling from re-entering the environment.
Should I have all of my silver fillings removed?
At Salvatore Dental, our philosophy is to only replace a silver filling when there is a crack or decay present. We use a combination of digital x-rays and a clinical exam under high magnification at every visit to evaluate the status of our patients existing silver fillings. If a crack or decay is present, our dentists will fix the tooth.
How do I know if my silver fillings need to be replaced?
At each visit, your dentist will thoroughly examine each filling and always utilize pictures taken with a specialized camera to show and educate our patients on their situation. We believe in taking before and after pictures of every tooth so that our patients stay informed on the status of their mouth.
What replaces the silver filling?
We always use the least invasive method to replace the silver filling. When caught in time, the tooth can be fixed by bonding a white resin filling. If the crack from the silver is not caught in time, and the tooth fractures, a bonded crown will be a necessity.
If it doesn't hurt, does it need to be fixed?
A tooth will only hurt when it has a considerable problem, so if you always wait until you experience pain to have the tooth fixed, you will likely require bigger, more expensive procedures. The key is early detection and early intervention which results in less pain, less time and less money.
Do we place silver filings?
At Salvatore Dental, we do not place silver fillings; each dental filling we place is a bonded white filling. While silver fillings can hurt the integrity our patient’s teeth, bonded white fillings actually strengthen them. Bonded white fillings are very realistic, durable and long-lasting. They are, however, more difficult to place than metallic fillings, as they take more time, need to be absolutely dry and require more skill from the dentist placing the filling.
Remember good things that last take time!
Early detection of dental issues leads to:
We all know it is essential to get regular oil changes with our cars to prevent any catastrophic breakdowns. It is the same with our teeth. Regular routine maintenance, with exams, cleanings and replacement of broken fillings will help to prevent costly catastrophic breakdowns.
In the past, dentists were primarily reactive, waiting until a tooth was nearly broken before fixing it.
We now can detect early breakdowns, performing earlier, smaller, easier and less expensive work to keep your teeth healthy.