Four Reasons to Replace Your Old Fillings

If you have amalgam dental fillings, consider having your old fillings removed and replaced with newer filling materials, such as composite resin. If you aren’t sure what kind of fillings you have, check their color. An amalgam filling looks like silver or pewter and can be seen in the tooth.  

What is an Amalgam Filling? 

The amalgam combines liquid mercury and other metals such as silver, tin, copper, and trace metals. Amalgam fillings were the only available option to fill cavities for years. Most dentists no longer use amalgam fillings because mercury is toxic and can contribute to several health problems, including tremors, insomnia, headaches, kidney problems, nerve damage, and more. Pregnant women, in particular, are at risk of mercury poisoning from fillings, which can also affect their unborn children’s health. 

If you have amalgam fillings and do not have symptoms of mercury poisoning, you may not need the fillings removed. However, fillings can come loose over time and shift, causing hairline cracks in your teeth or loose fillings. Even if you do not have symptoms, having your older fillings examined by one of our dentists is best. If they see signs of deterioration, they may suggest having the old fillings removed and replaced with composite fillings. Picture showcasing dental fillings/amalgam fillings in a 3-dimensional rendered mouth

A Toothache 

Pain is the most obvious sign there is a problem. You may have sensitivity to hot and cold, pain when chewing, or a dull, throbbing sensation. Any of these could indicate an exposed pulp beneath an old filling. If you develop a toothache in a filling, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. 

A Damaged Filling 

If you can see your filling when looking in a mirror, inspect it for damage. You may notice cracks or discoloration, which can indicate the filling is deteriorating and will soon come loose, fall out, or expose the damaged tooth to further infection.  

An amalgam filling may become loose due to the expansion and contraction of the metal. If your filling is older and feels like it wiggles or shifts, be sure to have it checked. Bacteria and debris can get under a loose filling and quickly destroy the tooth even if the filling is still in place. 

Difficulty Flossing 

When you floss, the floss should slide easily between the teeth. If your floss catches, frays, or breaks whenever you are cleaning around a filling, the filling may be cracked or have gaps between it and the tooth.  

The Filling Breaks or Falls Out 

Amalgam fillings can flake or crumble over time. Suppose you find tiny pieces of metal filling in your mouth, or it falls out completely. In that case, it is urgent to remove the filling as soon as possible to avoid mercury contamination from the damaged metal.  

Tonka Smiles Replaces Fillings 

Tonka Smiles recognizes the health problems inherent in the use of mercury-based fillings. If you have amalgam fillings and are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined above, we can replace the old filling with a safe composite filling. 

Composite resin fillings are mercury and metal-free. The material is strong, durable, and easily sculpted for a tight, precision fit on the tooth that does not allow bacteria or infection to reach the damaged part of the tooth. 

We use a high-quality, biocompatible composite resin that chemically bonds to the tooth, sealing even the tiniest cracks to prevent decay and protect the tooth’s pulp. These tooth-colored fillings are attractive and strong and provide additional support to the tooth.  

If you are concerned about older metal fillings, you should have them examined by a dentist. We carefully check for hairline fractures in the teeth, loose fillings, and any indication of potential problems. We regularly remove outdated fillings and replace them with stronger, more durable tooth-colored fillings at our office in Minnetonka. Please call our office today at Tonka Smiles Phone Number 952-938-8533 to schedule an appointment to evaluate your fillings.