Amalgam fillings are the silver ones that dentists always used years ago, and while some dentists still use them, composite fillings are now the new norm when it comes to cavity fillings. If you have old amalgam ones, you can leave them in your mouth if you want, or you could consider replacing them. Here are three reasons why some people decide to have them replaced.
One of the reasons some people choose to have their old fillings replaced is for health reasons. The problem with amalgam fillings is that they are made up of metals, and one of the metals used in these fillings is mercury. Consuming mercury is known to have major health risks, and so many people will replace their metal fillings to avoid problems and risks like this. Most experts believe that the level of mercury found in amalgam fillings is not enough to cause any health problems, but some people would rather be safe about this and have them replaced just in case.
They can crack and wear away
A second reason some people choose to replace their old fillings is due to the wear they experienced over the years. Over time, metal fillings can wear away and can even crack. If either of these things occurs with a metal filling, it can lead to other problems with the tooth. For example, a crack in a metal filling can allow bacteria to penetrate the tooth. This could leave the tooth with decay under the metal filling, and if you leave this decay there long enough, it can get into the tooth's roots. In this case, you would need a root canal to fix the problem. If you have worries about these types of problems, you could avoid them by replacing your old fillings.
The other common reason people choose to replace old amalgam fillings is strictly for the way they look. If you have these types of fillings in your mouth, you might feel embarrassed by the way they look as they tend to stand out a lot. When you replace them with composite fillings, you will have fillings that blend in as composite fillings are white in color. Cosmetic dentistry is something that helps people improve the way their teeth look, and this is often one procedure dentists recommend for improving looks.
You do not have to replace an old metal filling if it is not causing any problems, but you can if you would like. To learn more about dentistry, talk to a local dentist like one at Pinon Hills Dental.