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Why Some People Choose to Replace Their Silver (Amalgam) Fillings

Posted on: June 20th, 2024 | Categories: Cosmetic Dentistry

At our dental office near Worcester, we understand the concerns many patients have regarding their old silver (amalgam) fillings. Whether it’s the fear of toxic mercury entering the body or the desire for a more aesthetically pleasing smile, or even if you are picking up radio signals in your fillings, our dentists can help you replace your amalgam fillings with white composite fillings.

Dentist wearing blue gloves holding a dental drill and working on a tooth with a silver filling, focusing on the intricate dental procedure

The Safety of Silver Amalgam Fillings

Mercury is a well-known toxic substance. Even when the FDA approved the use of mercury in amalgam fillings, it was with the understanding that the amount of mercury released into the body would be far below harmful levels. The practical benefits of using a durable material that could be easily applied to cavities outweighed the potential risks at the time.

Fortunately, advancements in material science have introduced composite fillings as a superior alternative. Over the past few decades, composite fillings have become the standard due to their safety and aesthetic advantages. Despite this, the FDA continues to assert that structurally sound mercury fillings do not need to be replaced merely due to the presence of mercury.

Replacing Amalgam Dental Fillings for Cosmetic Reasons

Many patients prefer the appearance of white composite fillings over the dark, noticeable amalgam fillings. As amalgam fillings age, they tend to turn black, which can be quite unsightly. Here at our Auburn dental office near Worcester, we specialize in replacing old, dark-colored amalgam fillings with natural-looking composite alternatives.

However, during the process of removing these old fillings, our cosmetic dentists often discover hidden issues such as cracks or cavities that have been developing unnoticed under the amalgam.

Cracks and Cavities Under Amalgam Fillings

Research indicates that large amalgam fillings can cause cracks to form in the surrounding tooth structure. These cracks can lead to significant dental issues, potentially requiring treatments like root canals or dental crowns.

Moreover, amalgam fillings can become ‘leaky’ over time, allowing bacteria to infiltrate and cause decay beneath the filling. This hidden decay can also necessitate more extensive treatments like root canals and crowns.

In contrast, modern composite materials bond effectively with the tooth, creating a better seal that prevents leaks. Additionally, composite fillings require the removal of less tooth structure, reducing the likelihood of cracks forming under the filling.

Picking Up Radio Signals in Fillings: Fact or Fiction?

An unusual concern some patients have is the idea that their dental fillings might pick up radio signals. This notion stems from anecdotal reports dating back to the early days of radio technology. While it’s a fascinating topic, modern science and dental materials have rendered such occurrences exceedingly rare, if not impossible. The composite materials used today in fillings and dental work are non-metallic, ensuring that your teeth remain free from any unintended radio reception.

If you’re in the Worcester area and considering whether to replace your old dental fillings, we invite you to call our dental office or book a consultation online. Our experienced cosmetic dentists are here to provide you with personalized advice and high-quality dental care. Let us help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile.

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Terms and Conditions

Here at Auburn Dental Group, we work diligently to protect our patient's rights and privacy. Requesting an appointment via our Internet portal is considered part of what HIPAA has identified as electronically protected information (ePHI). Unfortunately, despite the best efforts we make or take, there are people or entities that may attempt to intercept the data you transmit to us. By checking the box, and electronically making an appointment, you understand that you are making an appointment over the internet and that Auburn Dental Group will keep this information confidential but cannot guarantee that others, outside of our practice, may not illegally intercept this communication. As a result of continuing, you are sending this transmission and accepting the inherent risk(s) associated with making this request for an appointment. As an alternative, you are always welcome to contact our office via telephone to schedule your appointment.


The information presented here is not intended or implied to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should be used for informational purposes only.