Although fillings are meant to protect your teeth after a cavity, they do not last forever. Wear and tear can damage this dental restoration as can improper care and maintenance. If you need to replace the silver amalgam fillings in your teeth or if you want to make a change for other reasons, speak to a general dentistry professional. This is not a difficult process and you can enjoy improvements in the way you feel and look. There are advantages and benefits to using composite instead of traditional silver.
Characteristics of silver amalgam
For decades, silver amalgam has been a popular way to treat cavities and infections. It consists of liquid mercury and metal alloy mixture. To put in the filling, the dentist will numb the patient and drill into the tooth. The dentist will then remove the decay and shape the tooth. Next, the dentist will fill the tooth with the amalgam, which will harden. The amalgam can last for 10 to 15 years or more if the patient is mindful of good oral hygiene.
Drawbacks of amalgam
There are different reasons why people choose to replace amalgam with the composite option. One of the reasons is that the mercury component causes concern. In high levels, mercury can cause issues in the brain or kidneys. Children and infants can be more susceptible to risks. However, these concerns are low.
Benefits of composite fillings
Many people choose to replace amalgam with composite because the latter is virtually impossible to see. This tooth-colored treatment blends in well with natural teeth, while amalgam stands out. This can affect a person’s smile and self-image. Composite also does not contain mercury. In addition, the composite resin can repair chips and cracks, where silver will not be used for these issues.
Making the change
When a patient decides to replace amalgam with composite resin, general dentistry professional will discuss the advantages of this process. The general dentist will begin by numbing the patient’s mouth to reduce any pain associated with the treatment. Once the anesthetic takes effect, the dentist will drill into the tooth and remove the amalgam. Next, the dentist will check for any decay and will then insert composite into the tooth. There is also a curing process to harden the resin.
Taking care of the fillings
The patient should continue to brush at least twice a day and practice good oral hygiene. It may be helpful to avoid eating hard food such as nuts, ice and some candies. Sticky foods such as gum can pull out the composite. If the patient has any problems with the composite fillings, a call to the dentist is recommended.
There are benefits and concerns for each type of restoration. Before you decide which type of material to use to treat your cavities, study how both options work. Your dentist can help you decide which makes the most sense. If you want to avoid having silver fillings in your mouth, go with composite resin. Call your dentist today and make an appointment to discuss your needs and goals.
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