Should You Replace Your Old Metal Dental Fillings?

Posted on: 27 February 2019

There are several different materials used to fill a cavity so that the decay does not spread further into a tooth. Metal fillings made out of amalgam tend to be the cheapest, which is what you may have had placed into your tooth a long time ago. This may have been done because you needed the dental procedure done on a budget, or you were a child and your parents made the decisions. You may be looking into replacing those metal fillings now that you're an adult and have the money to do so. Here are two reasons to replace your old metal dental fillings.

The Fillings Are Visible

Cavities commonly form in the grooves long the top part of the tooth. When they are in a rear molar, chances are that nobody will be able to see them unless they are taking a close look in your mouth. While the fillings are visible to you, it may not be a reason to be concerned. However, you may have a cavity in the side of a tooth, which is visible to others when you smile. Having a small hole with metal on a tooth is not always the most appealing thing to deal with.

It is possible to remove the old filling that is visible and replace it with one that matches the existing color of your teeth. The new filling will blend in seamlessly, which will help that dental filling no longer be noticed by others

The Fillings Are Showing Wear And Tear

Metal is not going to last forever when used as a dental filling. When you go to the dentist for your next checkup, ask about the status of your metal fillings and if they are showing signs that they have wear and tear. Even if the filling is still functional, it may have chips in it that are an early sign that it is deteriorating. There may also be signs that the filling is starting to separate from the tooth, creating a slight gap where bacteria can become stuck between the tooth and the filling.

Your fillings may even be old, which can justify their replacement. Expect a metal filling to last an average of 12.8 years before it starts to fail. While the material does have the chance to last your entire life, it may not be something you are willing to risk if it can be replaced with a new material that is better and blends in with your teeth.

For more information, talk to a dentist near you.