Modbury Dental

Are white fillings better than silver?

Modbury Dental – Replacing mercury fillings with white fillings

Can you believe that those silver-coloured fillings called ‘amalgam’ have been around since 1812? They were created by a British chemist, Joseph Bell, over 200 years ago! Amalgam is a specific mixture of metals, consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin and copper. They bind together to form a putty allowing for placement into dental cavities. Once placed, it quickly sets to form a strong filling.

Nowadays, many patients request to have their old mercury fillings replaced with white fillings, mainly for aesthetic reasons or fracture, but sometimes for perceived health reasons. Although we no longer place amalgams routinely at Tea Tree Dental, this is primarily due to aesthetic or tooth-integrity concerns.

Safety Issue

The health issue which concerns people is the perception of leaking mercury from the silver fillings. However, the mercury in amalgam is bound to tin and copper and once set liquid mercury is no longer present, eliminating any possibility of leakage.

The weight of evidence does not confirm any association between amalgam and adverse health effects, thus if amalgam fillings are in good condition with no signs of decay we do not recommend removal. We ingest more mercury from sources of tinned tuna than anything else!

Regardless, we respect the opinions and wishes of our patients and will remove any material on request after consultation.

“The Modbury Dental Centre the community trusts”

Dental Aesthetics

Many people have their silver fillings replaced because white fillings are more aesthetic. It’s not attractive to have silver fillings showing when laughing or smiling.

Typically, silver fillings are replaced as they start to break down and crack. The interface between the filling and the tooth starts to separate creating a gap in which bacteria get into potentially creating a cavity.

The other concern of failing amalgam fillings is the effect on the encasing tooth structure – typically there is significant cracking and a suitable replacement would be with a crown to ensure the integrity of that tooth.

No urgency

There is no real urgency to remove old amalgam restorations unless the tooth has become significantly compromised. It is important to have regular dental check-ups to assess the condition of all your fillings allowing us to intervene before there are major problems.

We are based in Modbury and also service the local communities in Clovercrest, Surrey Downs, Hope Valley, and St Agnes. We are always ready to listen to your concerns and will inform you of any necessary dental treatment ensuring long-term success. Please call us on 08 7226 3559.

Come have a chat – we’re close to Golden Grove!

Your dentist at Tea Tree Dental, situated near Tea Tree Plaza, will strive to provide you with the best advice and treatment plan to ensure the long-term success of your dental treatment. We aim to balance your dental health needs with your priorities ensuring you leave us completely satisfied. We know that this is possible by encouraging all our patients to involve themselves in treatment decisions because at the end of the day it is your mouth!

Feel free to talk to us for further advice and information on 08 7226 3559.

The Modbury Dental Centre the community trusts.

Contact Us

Modbury Dental Clinic

966 North East Road,
Modbury, SA, 5092

Phone: (08) 7226 3559