My wife and I married late in life and by the time we did, we each had our own dentists and doctors pretty well established and just stuck with them. A year or so ago, my wife got one of those white fillings and they looked great. That is why when I ended up needing a filling I asked my dentist to do one of the white fillings. He was reluctant, but I kept saying how much my wife loves them. He finally agreed but warned me about the possibility of an infection from saliva. Now I have this aching where the filling is. Will this clear up on its own? I am a little embarrassed to go back after he warned me. I’m taking Ibuprofen for the pain right now.
Most patients do not know that when a dentist deflects from a procedure, it often means they are not comfortable doing it. Placing amalgam (silver) fillings and placing composite (white) are two very different procedures. Your dentist may not understand how to do them properly. Rather than admit that, he will suggest some other procedure or warn you about problems with the procedure you want. The truth is when composite fillings are placed correctly there is no contamination from saliva. Obviously, he didn’t do them right but because he warned you about possible contamination, there is no recourse.
The problem you have now is what to do about this. When they’re contaminated, bacteria will get in the little tubules of the dentin of your teeth, which can lead to a dental infection. Not only that but the filling is not sealed against continual contamination. Your only real option is to get them replaced. Having your dentist replace them will not work. He obviously can’t do the job properly. You can either switch to your wife’s dentist, who has done a better job at keeping up with the changes in his or her field, or look for another qualified dentist. Any mercury-free dentist will be able to do these correctly.
Another benefit to that is, if you decide to switch out your old amalgam fillings for the updated ones, they will know the safe procedure to do this. Unfortunately, because the main ingredient in amalgam fillings is actually mercury and not silver, you really do need a dentist who knows how to do a sanitary amalgam removal. That way they can keep you from inhaling or swallowing and mercury or mercury vapors, which is a known toxin.
This blog is brought to you by Enfield Dentist Dr. Carl Embury.