Deciding when and how to replace silver fillings is an important decision. This video will review the problems of silvering fillings and the different replacement options including Biomimetic Dentistry.
HISTORY & BACKGROUND
Silver fillings have been used in dentistry since 1826. They consist of mercury, silver, copper, tin, and other trace metals. Together these metals mix to form an alloy which is commonly known as a silver filling. The use of mercury in the fillings has resulted in widespread safety concerns and a history full of controversy. Despite the bad reputation, silver fillings continue to be placed because of the high survival rate, low cost, and the relative ease with which the filling can be provided compared to more expensive alternatives.
THIS VIDEO WILL COVER:
– The problems with silver fillings
– Replacement options and recommendations for silver fillings
– The benefits of Biomimetic Dentistry for silver tooth replacement
THE PROBLEM WITH SILVER FILLINGS
In addition to health and safety concerns from mercury, silver fillings fail to adequately restore the natural properties and strength of teeth. As a result, teeth with silver fillings face damaging long-term complications such as fractures, cracks, and root canals. Many of these old fillings are treated with crowns which can be avoided by a more natural, biomimetic treatment approach.
SILVER FILLINGS RELEASE MERCURY
The fact is that mercury vapor is released from silver fillings, and scientists agree that mercury absorbed in high enough doses will cause health problems. There is strong evidence supporting the use of alternative mercury-free treatment options that can perform better and restore teeth more naturally. These alternative options include white fillings and ceramic restorations which are similar to natural tooth structure and eliminate unnecessary exposure to mercury.
STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF TEETH RESTORED WITH SILVER FILLINGS
Silver fillings are extremely stiff and they do not reconnect the tooth back together because there is no adhesion between the silver filling and your tooth. As a result, teeth restored with silver fillings are much weaker than intact teeth and experience more complications. Also, the placement of silver fillings requires shaving and removal of healthy portions of teeth as part of the technique and material requirements, leading to further weakening of the tooth. Teeth restored with silver fillings are likely to develop cracks and experience other complications including sensitivity, pain, gaps around the edges, cavities, root canals, fractures, and a higher chance of extraction.
SILVER TOOTH REPLACEMENT OPTIONS
– White filling (also known as composite filling)
– Ceramic inlay or Ceramic onlay
– Crown (usually the last resort)
CHANGING SILVER FILLINGS TO WHITE FILLINGS
When the existing silver filling is small, and there is a large amount of healthy remaining tooth structure (no cavity, crack, fracture), then a white filling will be the best option. The white filling is made of a composite material (also known as a composite filling) which comes in a variety of options and brands with different properties.
DO NOT REPLACE SILVER FILLINGS WITH CROWNS
White fillings can not adequately restore teeth which are more structurally compromised, but a crown is almost completely avoidable when replacing silver fillings. A crown involves removing (shaving or drilling) substantial amounts of healthy tooth structure which increases the chance of complications and increases the risk of root canals further. Ceramic inlays and onlays conserve significantly more tooth structure than crowns, and restore the structure, function, and strength of the teeth when provided with a biomimetic approach. This combination minimizes damaging complications and maximizes long term success compared to crowns.
How much does it cost to replace silver fillings for white?
The cost for white fillings varies greatly because there is no “standard” for the quality of the white filling. A filling is not a product, but rather a service and the cost is largely dependent on the quality of the restoration and the expertise of the providing dentist. A small white filling can be performed very quickly with low quality and cost as low as $50. On the other hand, a large white filling can cost as high as $1500 when it is provided with optimal quality and this type of filling takes significantly longer (1-2 hours) to make.
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About Dr. Matt Nejad
Helm | Nejad | Stanley Dentistry
P: (310) 278-0440
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