When you consider the fact that dentists have relied on silver fillings to restore the teeth for more than 150 years, it’s hard to believe that another type of restoration could ever become the “new standard” material of choice. However, that’s exactly what has happened within the last 2-3 decades. Tooth-colored fillings have all but replaced silver fillings, and the reasons are due to the many disadvantages of the old standard metal fillings.
What are the most common disadvantages of silver fillings? If you still have old silver fillings, ask a Smithfield NC dentist to check for these problems.
Instability. Silver fillings are made from a blend of metal elements such as silver, tin, mercury, and copper. These metals are known to expand and contract when they are exposed to changes in the temperature and moisture in the mouth. These microscopic fluctuations can cause the filling to separate from the tooth, creating tiny gaps where bacteria can accumulate and making the tooth more vulnerable to sensitivity and cavities.
Breakage. After many years, under the pressures of the oral cavity, a silver filling can begin to deteriorate and weaken. The filling can fracture or portions of the tooth may begin breaking away from the filling.
Esthetics. Metal fillings just don’t match the shade of your teeth, making them impossible to hide. These restorations also tend to darken after several years until they appear more black than silver.
Sensitivity. As a metal blend, silver fillings can transmit hot and cold temperatures, increasing the likelihood of tooth sensitivity.
Potential Allergen. These fillings can pose complications for patients with metal allergies and metal sensitivities.
The silver fillings from your youth will most likely need to be replaced at some point, but you’ll need to consult a dentist in Smithfield NC to determine when the time is right. Call today to schedule your exam.