There was a time when the only resource available to correct dental decay was with dental amalgam. That is the silver product your dentist would pack into your tooth after drilling out the decayed portion of your tooth. Your dentist would smooth is over and make it look as good as possible, but over time the silver likely has turned a dark gray; and if you have a filling in your smile line, it can certainly mar your appearance.
There has been a lot of discussion and studies completed to validate the use of dental amalgam. In many offices across the country, silver fillings are no longer offered. An alternative has been introduced that has many advantages over amalgam; plus it has multiple uses such as bonding.
Dental amalgam does contain mercury, and your dentist may discuss replacing those old silver fillings with mercury free fillings. In addition to removing this toxic product, the replacement fillings are much more aesthetically pleasing (they match your natural tooth color).
If a new cavity is found, the repair with composite resin requires much less of the tooth be drilled out. The more of the natural tooth that can be left, the stronger the tooth will be. The repair completed with mercury fillings is completed in stages with the filling placed, smoothed, and cured in lieu of just packing the hole in the tooth with amalgam.
Replacing existing fillings requires extreme care to protect the patient and dental staff from any mercury vapors; your dentist should explain the process to you before beginning.
If you have questions, please contact our office today at (972) 218-0078 to talk to a knowledgeable and caring member of our staff!