Should You Have Your Amalgam Fillings Removed?

Amalgam fillings are made with liquid mercury (up to 50% of the composition). Although mercury is a toxic metal, authorities don’t deem amalgam fillings unsafe. However, they do warn about the lack of research when it comes to their use on pregnant women and children under 6. 

In pregnant women, small amounts of mercury can cross the placenta. As a result, many dental professionals avoid using amalgam fillings on pregnant women.

The environmental impact of amalgam fillings is another concern. Studies show that the mercury found in dental amalgam plays a significant role in environmental mercury pollution.

If you have amalgam fillings and you’re unsure whether you should keep or replace them, Dr. Nazila Satvat and the team at Brightleaf Dental can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option. We’re here to help you make a more informed decision regarding your health.

Amalgam fillings aren’t aesthetically pleasing 

Unlike porcelain fillings, which match the color of your teeth, amalgam fillings are very noticeable due to their silver hue. 

Porcelain fillings come with the disadvantage of wearing down faster than amalgam fillings. However, porcelain is a very durable material, so the life-expectancy gap between the two fillings isn’t that significant.

Metals may increase your sensitivity to cold and hot foods 

Amalgam fillings contain metals that contract and expand when exposed to hot and cold foods. This repeated expansion and contraction may cause your teeth to weaken and develop cracks over time.

So while amalgam fillings last longer than porcelain fillings, they may end up damaging the overall structure of your teeth in the process. 

Teeth with amalgam fillings are more likely to develop plaque 

Plaque accumulation is the main cause of gum disease and tooth decay. Because amalgam fillings aren’t as smooth as porcelain fillings and don’t bond as well to your teeth, they’re more likely to hold onto plaque, food remains, and bacteria, putting you at risk of developing dental issues. 

Porcelain fillings are a superior solution

Unlike amalgam fillings, porcelain fillings are invisible, and they don’t contain any toxic materials that may cause damage to your body and the environment. Porcelain makes for a safe, durable, natural-looking replacement for metal fillings.

If you’re unsure about the implications of amalgam fillings and have concerns about their impact on your overall health, contact our team at Brightleaf Dental in Santa Monica, California, to set up a consultation with Dr. Satvat. We can help you determine if amalgam fillings have damaged your teeth and if you’re a good candidate to have those old fillings removed and replaced.

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