Ever wonder what the old “silver” fillings or “amalgam” fillings look like after a few years in the mouth? What are dental fillings and why do they turn black.
What is a Filling?
Dental Fillings were created decades ago to allow dentists to fix teeth that were decayed. And while a lot of scientific findings from those days were used to create the filling material, they leave a lot to be desired by today’s standards.
Silver fillings have been placed for a long time (and still continue to be placed in some dental offices and clinics). They are an economical solution to fixing a cavity. However, they do pose several major problems.
Silver Fillings – Risks
Silver fillings start oxidizing and turning black after exposure to fluids and bacteria in the mouth. Over time, this leads to the filling slowly turning black. Not only that, this black stain then stains the adjacent tooth structure and other teeth.. This is obvious to anyone, not just dentists. They leak and stain the tooth structure around them. Looking at the photo you can see the gray shadows that are spreading out from the filling inside the tooth. They cause teeth to break prematurely. Because of their metallic nature, they expand and contract differently than enamel and dentin when exposed to high and low temperatures. Because of this difference in expansion and contraction rate, they place a lot of unnecessary stress on the tooth.
Silver fillings contain mercury. Follow this link to learn more about mercury and its effect on our health.
Alternative to Silver Fillings
The picture here shows while what fillings look like. White fillings are not just more esthetic and pretty. They resemble the tooth structure they are replacing making teeth less likely to fracture. Also, these white fillings are bonded to the teeth chemically. This helps solidify the tooth as a unit, instead of having something lodged in the center of the tooth causing it to split over time. These white fillings are also easier to repair and maintain compared to a silver filling.
The next time you are given a choice between a silver filling and a white filling, you’ll be better prepared to choose the white filling knowing it is a better material that not only looks better but is better for the health of the tooth. At Platinum Dental, Inc. we only use white fillings when a filling is necessary. Follow this link to learn more about white fillings.