The human mouth in its ideal form has no cavities, fillings, or signs of dental disease. Often, though, when we look inside our mouths we see dark silver fillings, unsightly reminders that our teeth aren’t perfect. Luckily, we can replace those dark fillings to make your teeth look beautiful and natural again, while also protecting them from the long-term problems associated with silver amalgam fillings.Chances are you’ll probably need to replace at least some of your silver amalgam fillings, even if you’re not concerned about how they look. Silver amalgam fillings are made of a blend of metals, including mercury. If you’ve seen mercury in a thermometer, you know that it expands and contracts in response to changing temperatures. Over time, this repeated expansion and contraction, combined with the biting pressure your teeth endure every day, can cause your filled teeth to crack. Amalgam fillings may also corrode and leak, creating gaps where bacteria can gain a foothold and cause decay. In such cases, it’s important that we remove the new decay and replace the fillings, either with another filling or with a crown.
Replacing old fillings with new fillings
When your silver amalgam fillings need to be replaced, you’ll have a number of options to choose from. If the original filling was small and has not incurred additional decay, we can simply replace the old filling with a new silver amalgam filling. The advantages of this option are that silver amalgam is the least expensive filling material available, and the procedure can be completed in just one visit. On the other hand, the new filling will be just as vulnerable to the ravages of time as the original.
Your other option is to replace the silver amalgam filling with a resin filling. This procedure can also be performed in one visit, but resin fillings have a number of advantages over silver amalgam fillings. Resin fillings are natural looking, because we match the color of the resin to your teeth. They bond directly to the tooth, so the seal is tighter and more durable than with silver amalgam fillings. This bond also strengthens your natural tooth, which lowers your chances of needing a crown in the future to replace a broken tooth.
Replacing old fillings with onlays and crowns
If your original filling was large, or if additional decay has occurred, we can replace it with an onlay or crown to strengthen the remaining natural tooth structure.
We may suggest an onlay if a great deal of the tooth is missing, but not enough to warrant a full crown. While an onlay doesn’t cover the entire tooth like a crown, it does cover and protect the biting surface. And when we place an onlay instead of a crown, we can preserve more of your natural tooth, so it remains stronger and less likely to crack or break.
It takes two or more appointments to replace a filling with an onlay because it is custom-crafted in a dental laboratory. Onlays may be made of gold or tooth-colored resin or porcelain. We’ll work with you to decide which material best suits your needs and your unique circumstances.
If your worn filling is fairly large and less of your natural tooth structure remains, or if we need to remove a lot of your tooth because of additional decay, there is an increased chance that your tooth could fracture or even break away entirely. If this is the case, we’ll likely recommend a crown to strengthen your tooth and restore its function. Like onlays, crowns take two or more appointments to complete, as they are crafted in a dental lab to fit your tooth precisely.
When it’s time to replace an amalgam filling, we’ll carefully evaluate your circumstances, and together we’ll choose the option and the restorative material that best fits your needs. Just give us a call or ask at your next appointment in Istanbul-Turkey. E-mail to email@example.com or call our office (+90 530 522 9179)