Why do Old Fillings need to be Replaced?
Over time fillings can break down, decay can start to form around them or soreness can develop in the tooth beneath the filling. All these symptoms require the replacement of a filling since there may be a void between the filling and the tooth that can harbor more bacteria, which then reach the pulp and create an abscess.
Other reasons for replacing fillings are:
- Avoiding the appearance of the dark color amalgam gives to the teeth. This is caused by the migration of metal ions from the filling material to the surrounding tooth.
- The need to treat a cracked tooth.
- One has concerns about the mercury in the fillings.
- The desire to have a natural looking filling.
- A filling has come off and needs to be replaced.
Amalgam as a filling material.
In the last century, the common solution for fixing a hole in a tooth was, an amalgam metal filling. These black or silver fillings were made by mixing a powder of copper, tin and silver with liquid mercury into a metal alloy. The reason for the wide us of amalgam in the past was its high strength, durability and ease of use. However over time amalgam has several detrimental effects on the tooth. Amalgam, even when fully set has the ability to expand and contract when exposed to changed in temperature and it rusts or becomes oxidized, these two properties create pressure on the remaining tooth structure and lead to the formation of cracks. In the image it is shown how a large amalgam filling broke a whole side of a tooth. Due to the negative impact amalgam has on the tooth structure and the unaesthetic appearance of the fillings, many people have chosen to have their amalgam fillings removed and have them replaced with tooth colored fillings instead.
Thanks to new developments in filling materials, now we can offer a much wider choice in materials. The new filling materials include Composite resin (White filling), Porcelain, Zirconium and Gold, each one of these materials has different advantages. If you are in need of a filling or tooth restorations Dr. Kaufman can explain that differences between the various types of filling materials and recommend, which are the most suitable materials for your tooth. Please call Tooronga Family Dentistry, Phone number 98227006 to make an appointment.