Tuesday, March 27, 2018

To Replace or Not to Replace Silver Fillings? That Is The Question

For a good amount of years, silver fillings were a common sight in children's mouths. For many adults, those fillings from childhood are starting to deteriorate, as fillings often do. Since silver fillings are still offered today, they must choose whether to keep the same material, or switch to a composite filling. Here are some things to consider to help make the best choice for you.

The Pros and Cons

The main advantage to silver fillings is that they cost less money. For instances where the fillings won't be obvious, like the molars, people tend to pick the more affordable option. This is where the benefits of silver fillings end though. Over the years, silver linings have been found to:

· Interfere with dental x-rays, hiding decay in the teeth.

· Put pressure on teeth, increasing chances of fractures and chips to the area.

· Contains mercury, which is considered no longer toxic by the time it is placed in the mouth, but still makes some people uneasy.

Tooth-colored, or composite fillings are generally considered better because:

· They are less obvious.

· Don't hide tooth decay.

· Strengthen teeth structures.

There are a lot of things to consider, aside from cost. When replacing a filling, dentists must completely remove the old one. It is not a situation where the dentist will just add more silver to the existing filling. The entire filling is sucked out before replacing it with whatever material the patient chooses. Some people prefer to just stay with the familiar choice and repeat what was already there.

Other Determining Factors

Dental hygiene plays a big part in what dentists recommend to their patients. All fillings will break down, but with poor dental habits, it is harder to protect the fillings and the teeth they strengthen. If proper brushing and dental techniques are part of your routine, your teeth and fillings will last longer. This is especially true of composite fillings. They deteriorate faster when proper care is neglected, meaning you replace your fillings more often.

The cost of composite fillings might be a bit more at first, but the cost eventually evens out. For instance, when you pay a little more for composite, your teeth are stronger. Instead of paying to fix cracked or chipped teeth, you put a little bit more into the tooth now to protect it from further damage and expense later.

Other things that influence the filling options are the size of the cavity and where it is located. For molars with larger cavities, many dentists will recommend the silver colored fillings because they are a bit stronger and resistant to deterioration than the composite option. If this is the original reason for your filling, the dentist is likely going to recommend that you replace your silver fillings with the same material. Smaller cavities don't require one material over another, so the dentist will usually ask for your preference.

Once fillings start to deteriorate, it is important that you replace them. No matter what type of filling material you use, ask questions and pick the type that you feel good about. Continue to practice healthy brushing and flossing habits to keep decay under control and you will have a long and happy life with whatever filling you choose.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Anna_Bird/2355855

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