Silver Filling Removal: Is It Necessary

Controversy surrounds the use of silver fillings in teeth. Both sides have made their opinions clear about the presence of mercury in these fillings. For those who view the issue as a toxic situation, silver filling removal is the only answer. Others continue to use this type of dental amalgam seeing the reaction as an example where people are ignoring the scientific evidence. They cite there is no proof that mercury fillings are causing health issues.

In Farmington Hills, our dental practice will carefully remove silver fillings under certain circumstances. Research does indicate that the two dangerous times for mercury leakage are during the installation and removal of the filling. It is essential a dentist takes considerable care in either procedure. While it is possible for a patient to ask for other types of fillings, it is not always a good thing to ask a dentist to remove silver fillings. In fact, a dentist may refuse unless the fillings represent a problem.

The Problem with Silver Fillings
Silver fillings do present an issue to dentists. While they have been in use in dental practices for around 150 years, they are not always the best at what they do. At Dwoskin & Owens Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we understand the various problems related to silver fillings. This include:

  • Hiding decay: Silver fillings are solid metal. They make it difficult for dentists, even using X-rays, to see a cavity. In fact, silver, as an opaque metal, may block out between 15% and 20% of cavities present in the teeth. Other materials allow you to view more easily existing cavities. As a result, your dentist may be able to provide you with another filling and not perform something more extensive such as a root canal
  • Teeth Cracking: Supposition indicates that the hardness of metal can contribute to the cracking of teeth. This is more valid if the silver filling is extensive (approximately half) in a particular tooth
  • Mercury: This, as noted above, is a contentious issue. The conclusions of scientific studies are not definitive enough to arrive at an absolute conclusion. While dentists and other professionals know mercury is toxic, the use of it in dental fillings remains questionable but does not necessitate a campaign of silver filling removal

These are all issues concerning silver fillings. They do not indicate you must see your doctor about having them removed.

Silver Filling Removal

At Dwoskin & Owens Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in Farmington Hills, we do remove silver fillings. However, this is not on a whim. We examine your teeth. We note the condition of your fillings – of all types, not just the silver ones. We also ask about the age of the fillings. If they are over 20 years and potentially the cause of inflammation of the gums and other dental problems, we will talk to you about safe silver filling removal.