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Start the New Year by Having Those Old Mercury Fillings Removed

Do you wish there was a less noticeable way of filling in the flaws left behind by tooth decay? There is. Find out how easy i

There was a time when mercury fillings were the best affordable option for restoring decayed but salvageable teeth. They’re much less expensive than alternatives such as gold fillings, and they can last 10 years. Unfortunately, they also have a few design flaws. Maybe most notable for you is that it’s impossible to keep your smile looking natural when you have a silver filling.

Dr. Satvat and our expert team at Brightleaf Dental in Santa Monica, California, are all about keeping your smile healthy and naturally beautiful. That’s why the doctor often recommends you consider switching out those old mercury fillings for a more natural-appearing alternative such as porcelain fillings.

Today’s porcelain fillings are a healthy and durable fix for the flaws left behind by decay and are fashioned to closely match the shade of your pearly whites. Besides, did you know that mercury fillings typically wear out and need replacing within 10-12 years anyway? This may be the perfect time to switch to a smile-friendly filling.

The decaying nature of mercury fillings

Made by blending several types of metals together, mercury fillings are not designed to mesh with your teeth. They plug a hole that started with decay and was expanded by the drilling your dentist did to make room for the filling. A significant portion of healthy tooth is lost during this necessary process.

Mercury fillings also expand and contract with heat and cold. Over time, this can loosen the material and cause micro cracks and gaps to develop between the filling and the tooth. These tiny openings leave room for decay-causing bacteria to slide past the filling and invade a healthy tooth.

At its worst, the constant motion of a mercury filling can cause a tooth to crack and break apart. Mercury fillings can also increase tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks.

Because they aren’t as smooth as natural teeth, and it’s not possible to make them so, mercury fillings are natural plaque magnets. As the plaque settles into the ridges of a silver filling, your risk of tooth decay increases. This characteristic also makes them difficult to clean.

Why make the switch from mercury to porcelain fillings?

Beyond their cosmetic appeal, which is no small matter, porcelain fillings are overall more compatible with teeth and oral health than metal fillings. 

A porcelain filling:

Porcelain fillings are also easier to clean, and they respond well to routine brushing and flossing as directed.

Making the change

At Brightleaf Dental, Dr. Savat offers a consultation appointment to discuss switching from mercury to porcelain fillings. You can expect plenty of time during this visit to ask questions about the benefits and the process of removing your old mercury fillings. Generally, however, removal is quick and safe, and your teeth are then prepped immediately for porcelain overlays and/or fillings.

For more information about starting the new year without your old mercury fillings and getting a more natural-appearing smile, give Brightleaf Dental a call or request an appointment online today. You can also send Dr. Satvat and the team a message here on the website.    

Dr. Nazila Satvat

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