My dentist wants me to replace all my old silver fillings. That will cost a pretty penny. Is it necessary?
My first question is did he mention something is wrong with the fillings? They do age over time, and (especially with silver amalgam fillings) they can crack, become corroded, wear down, or become leaky. Any of these situations is dangerous for you because it leaves the tooth structure beneath it vulnerable to decay and (in the case of silver fillings) the main ingredient is mercury. You do NOT want that leaking into your body.
If none of that is going on, your dentist should not be pressuring you to replace your old fillings. If they do need replacing, I suggest you replace them with white composite fillings. These are mercury-free so you never have to worry about exposure to a toxic element.
However, not every dentist knows the proper way to remove and replace silver fillings. As I mentioned earlier, their main ingredient is mercury, which has a melting point of room temperature. It is too easy for a patient to inhale mercury vapors or swallow some mercury if your dentist doesn’t do the procedure correctly.
Sanitary Amalgam Removal
There is a special procedure, which requires specific equipment that will allow your dentist to safely remove any old silver fillings and replace them with white fillings. If your dentist doesn’t know how to do a sanitary amalgam removal and you need (or want) to replace your fillings, you’ll need to find a different dentist to do the procedure.
There are dentists who advertise as being mercury-free dentists. They are one option for you. Another is to see a holistic dentist. They have a philosophy of considering the whole body. They are always mercury-free and are more willing to work with patients who have metal sensitivities.
Either group of dentists can help you safely replace your old fillings for new ones.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.