One of the most common questions we answer is whether metal fillings should be replaced. I have complied a list of points about metal fillings and why I think they have had their day and alternative treatments should be sought:
1. Metal fillings contain up to 50% mercury.
2. Mercury is a toxin.
3. Mercury is continuously released from metal fillings via a vapour form.
4. Metal fillings do NOT stick to teeth, they are mechanically wedged in to place.
5. Metal fillings require the tooth to be cut deeper than white fillings as they rely upon an undercut in the tooth i.e wider base than top surface
6. Metal fillings corrode over time leaving areas open to bacterial leakage.
7. Metal fillings cannot be repaired.
8. Metal fillings leach ions within the tooth to give a grey appearance.
9. Metal fillings cannot be placed next to gold crowns as this may lead to a galvanic effect and increase the corrosion rate.
10. Metal fillings look awful.
Modern replacements include composite resin fillings and porcelain inlay and onlay restorations. My next article will list points why these materials are superior than metal fillings.
Article written by Dr Nissit Patel
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