6 Pros and Cons of Dental Amalgam Fillings

Dental Amalgams, the silver-colored fillings that your dentist probably applied on your teeth as a child, is still very popular amongst children. Amalgam fillings are produced using a mixture of metals including mercury, copper, silver, and tin. 

The filling is a low-cost option and is quite durable thanks to the materials used to make it. However, there are some concerns regarding the use of amalgam fillings today. Since there are better options available at Icon Dental Center for dental fillings, you must be wondering why amalgams are still an option?

To give you an idea, we have created this small guide that lists the pros and cons of dental amalgam fillings. This will help you decide whether you should go for amalgam fillings to fill cavities or not.

Amalgam Fillings Advantages

While a lot of people believe amalgam fillings don’t have any significant benefits, we believe it is still a viable option for some people. Here are some pros of amalgam fillings.

  • Durable Material. Dental amalgams are made with robust components which makes these fillings very durable. It is able to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Typically, these fillings can last about ten to twelve years before you would require a replacement by a dentist.
  • Affordable. One of the primary reasons people choose dental amalgams over other dental filling options is due to the fact that these are very cost-effective. This makes it an ideal option for people who want to cover tooth decay quickly with affordability in mind. 
  • Protects from future cavities. The edges of the tooth next to the filling become more resistant to future cavities. This means if you are an individual who gets a lot of cavities, this procedure could help reduce your susceptibility to tooth cavities, thus reducing the risk of tooth extraction
  • Chew as much as you want. Due to the durable nature of amalgam fillings, patients can easily chew on most foods without the worry of breaking the filling as compared to other options such as ceramic or composite fillings.  
  • Lasts long. A typical amalgam filling can last for ten or twelve years before it needs replacement. 

Amalgam Fillings Disadvantages

Amalgam fillings are definitely worth going for if you need a budget-friendly solution for tooth decay or cavity. However, the filling material has quite a few disadvantages that may make you think twice.

  • It can cause teeth discoloration. Amalgam fillings are usually silver fillings that can get darker as time passes. This is the reason most people have them installed exclusively at the back of their mouth. 
  • It can cause sensitive teeth. A lot of people have reported that they feel increased tooth sensitivity after getting amalgam fillings. Some scientific evidence suggests that this could be due to the metal reaction to varying temperatures in the mouth. 
  • It can weaken the teeth. Another major concern of amalgam fillings is that they can weaken the tooth. This usually happens because a portion of some tissue of the tooth has to be removed first in order to install these fillings. This means the remaining teeth can get damaged or weakened. 
  • Your teeth may get stained. Amalgam fillings are the only types of fillings that can cause stain around the teeth and will require tooth stain removal in order to remove the stains. The stain removal procedure is also tougher because the dentist will have to remove the filling first to clean the stains. So if you are looking for restorative dentistry options (such as teeth whitening), later on, you may have to reconsider getting these fillings. 

Amalgam fillings are well known for their durability and long life. Nevertheless, they are very much dated now and new filling options have replaced these fillings. If you are unsure whether you should get amalgam fillings or any other types of dental fillings, get in touch with one of our dentists for a detailed consultation.

At Icon Dental Center Everett and Seattle, we have several other preferred options for tooth restoration, including tooth-colored composite filling materials and cementable resins and porcelains.

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