Silver Fillings (Amalgams)

  • Silver fillings, otherwise known as Amalgams, are an alloy of several metals (Silver, Zinc, Tin etc.) and Mercury. Once mixed, they make up dental amalgam. This restoration has been used successfully for many, many years and has stood the test of time. Periodically, reports are generated about the possibility of mercury toxicity from old existing silver fillings. To date, it is the opinion of the American Dental Association that there is no substantial proof that dental amalgam poses any threat to the safety of the dental public.
  • Initially, the decayed tooth is excavated and all the decay is removed.
  • The tooth is then shaped in a specific manner in order to accept a silver filling.
  • Finally, a band is placed around your tooth and the amalgam is condensed into the prepared tooth. The final filling is then carved and adjusted to your bite.
  • Once placed, it takes almost two (2) weeks for your new filling to become fully hardened. You may, however, safely chew on it after twenty-four (24) hours. But, please, chew carefully!
  • New silver fillings can be sensitive to hot and cold liquids and other foods for the first four to six weeks or in some special cases, even longer. If the sensitivity should continue for an extended period of time or if the discomfort is extreme, call your dentist so that he/she can evaluate the situation and prescribe the appropriate therapy.
  • Sometimes, due to the effects of the local anesthesia, it is quite difficult to make sure that your bite is exactly right. If you feel any discomfort in chewing, call your dentist. A minor adjustment is usually all it takes to make you comfortable. Don’t wait too long! Teeth can become quite sensitive if the bite is ” high “. You can generate in excess of 40,000 pounds per square inch when chewing on your back teeth. Fillings which have not had the appropriate amount of time to harden, or are ” high “, cannot stand this kind of pressure and may break.

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