I have two fillings that are 20 years old, and I’d like to have them removed and replaced with white fillings. My dentist seems uncomfortable with this, and said that even if I get it done, they still might not look very good because the amalgam material may have stained my teeth.
What would cause this? If the material from the old fillings is seeping into my teeth then I REALLY want them removed. I have tried to make a lot of holistic changes in my health care, and just knowing that there is toxic mercury in my teeth makes me feel sick. I am concerned, though, about the durability of the white filling material. I read somewhere that it is not as strong as the amalgam material. My dentist said that 75% of my tooth is filling material, and expressed doubt over whether or not the white filling material would be strong enough.
Any advice you can offer would be great.
Renee in Charleston, SC
On occasion, amalgam fillings will discolor teeth, but once they are removed and replaced with white composite filling, the improved appearance is always dramatic. So cosmetically, you are certainly looking at an improvement.
In terms of strength, yes, it is true that amalgam material is strong than the composite material used in white fillings, but the amalgam material actually weakens the tooth, whereas the white composite material bonds with the tooth to make the whole tooth stronger.
Of concern is the stress on your teeth from removing such large cavities. You may find that your dentist will have to put porcelain crowns on those teeth, rather than fillings. In either case, you may want to seek the services of someone who bills himself or herself as a “mercury free dentist”. It doesn’t sound like your dentist is comfortable with this procedure, and it is always a very bad idea to push a dentist into doing something he or she is not comfortable doing.
Posted courtesy of York PA cosmetic dentist Dr. Currie.