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Should You Replace Old Fillings?

Fillings enable the preservation of the structure of a tooth that has been affected by tooth decay. For decades, silver amalgam fillings were the gold standard. Unfortunately, these have significant drawbacks, such as an unsightly appearance. If you still have these old fillings in your mouth, consider talking to your dentist about whether you should replace them. Your dentist can remove the old fillings and apply a cosmetically appealing composite material instead, which will blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth.

Dental fillings aren’t permanent.

Dental fillings can last for years. However, they aren’t necessarily a permanent solution for a tooth damaged by decay. Over the years, the accumulated stress of biting, chewing, and teeth grinding can cause a dental filling to fail. When you get your routine exam and dental X-rays, your dentist will check your old fillings for signs of failure. He or she may recommend replacing them if they show signs of wear and tear.

Damaged fillings can encourage bacterial growth.

One reason why it’s important to replace failing fillings is because they enable the growth of bacteria in your mouth. As a filling becomes chipped or worn away, it creates small hiding spaces for bacteria. It’s possible for the bacteria to enter the tiny spaces between the filling and the tooth, where they are virtually impossible to remove with a toothbrush. This can result in tooth decay, and so it’s important to get the old, damaged fillings removed and replaced.

Silver amalgam fillings contain trace amounts of mercury.

Silver amalgam fillings are made with a blend of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. Mercury is highly toxic to human health and is known to cause many medical problems, including kidney problems. While evidence is inconclusive as to whether mercury in dental fillings is a concern, many patients prefer to remove them, if only for peace of mind.

At Glenwood Premier Dental, it’s our mission to help our patients enjoy a smile that is both healthy and beautiful. If you’d like to replace your old fillings or if you’re in need of another dental restoration, give us a call at (732) 497-3265. Our cosmetic dentistry practice in Hazlet is conveniently located on Bethany Road.