Is Your Old Silver Filling Failing?

Dentists have been using silver fillings, sometimes known as amalgam, for the past 200 years. Amalgam is robust, effective and easy to work with, and if you follow good dental hygiene practices, a silver filling can easily last for 15 years, sometimes even longer. Nothing lasts forever, though, and sooner or later, your old silver filling will fail. 


Replacing an amalgam filling is a common procedure at Glow Dental. While amalgam has served us well for years, there are now even better solutions that are just as robust but are completely invisible.             

Silver Fillings Removed Auckland

Failing Old Silver Fillings – The Causes


Amalgam contains metal, and this will corrode over time, especially when it is constantly exposed to acidic food and drink. Cracks can gradually form, and these can allow bacteria to creep in, leading to infection and decay. This decay then accelerates the breakdown of the filling, creating a vicious circle that only your dentist can break. 


Sometimes, your personal habits can also cause an old filling to fail, for example, if you grind your teeth or you bite on hard objects like ice or boiled sweets. 

Signs That Your Filling is Failing


Sometimes, it is obvious that filling needs attention. When a filling becomes brittle, you might find small pieces of it breaking away. Tiny particles that are similar to grit or stone seemingly appear in your mouth from nowhere. Another obvious indication is if there is a visible crack. 


A failed filling is not always so self-evident, though. If your tooth feels tender, especially when drinking cold liquid, that is a sign that the filling has failed or is failing, and you need to get it checked by your dentist. 


Replacing a Failed Filling


Old amalgam fillings contain mercury, and if yours has been in place for a very long time, it might even be made of lead. Glow Dental follows a special removal process to avoid exposing you to any health risks from these elements. With the old filling removed, any decay in the exposed tooth can be addressed, before replacing the filling with a modern alternative. 


Most commonly, this will be made of composite resin, which is colour-matched to your teeth. There are, however, other options, including porcelain or even gold fillings. Your dentist will talk you through all the options, along with their pros and cons.


Have You got Old Failing Fillings?
Call (09) 600 2774

Common Questions in Relation to Silver Fillings

Do I have to replace my old silver fillings?
Does it hurt having a filling replaced?
How Much Does It Cost To Replace Old Silver Fillings?
Are Silver Fillings Safe?
How Can I Avoid Fillings?