Should Silver Metal Fillings Be Replaced?

“Should silver metal fillings be replaced?” is a question that many people ask as they think that metal fillings can leech out mercury which is harmful to our health. There has been no conclusive research that shows that these fillings are not good for our health but there are definitely multiple reasons to replace them.

  1. Can hide decay – Silver fillings are quite opaque on X rays and can easily block small decay. So, until the decay has become really extensive or you start to have a symptom it will be missed which means you are looking at bigger fillings or even Root canal treatment in some cases.
  2. Cracked or fractured teeth – Silver fillings are sensitive to temperature changes and like any other metal they expand and contract creating a lot of stress on the remaining tooth structure leading to cracks in the teeth or fracturing the teeth. If it is vertical crack going under the gum then unfortunately, the only treatment option is to take the tooth out. If you grind your teeth then you may aggravate the problem putting extra constant stress on the teeth.
  3. Unsatisfactory margins – As, silver fillings are more so a history now which means that if you have them there are high chances that they are very old. This is one reason that there are chances that margins of the fillings are unsatisfactory and can potentially cause decay as a result of leakage around the margins.
  4. Aesthetics – This goes without saying that metal fillings are quite unsightly and replacing them with the tooth colored fillings would definitely be more aesthetically pleasing.

The conclusion is that it is best to replace the old metal fillings to avoid the above-mentioned problems related to them.

Strategies to replace silver fillings –

We like to make treatment plan suiting individual needs. Not all metal fillings need to be replaced in one go. The ones where the obvious signs are present for example, craze lines, cracks, etc can be addressed first and slowly the remaining can be dealt with.