19 Broughton St Kirribilli
NSW 2061
19 Broughton St Kirribilli
NSW 2061
A young boy smiling at the camera while he touches a plastic mockup of a smile

Here’s Why it’s Time to Replace Your Amalgam Fillings

Updated 16/05/2022

Time to Kiss Your Amalgam Fillings Goodbye

Did you get a filling many years ago and it’s starting to wreak havoc on your teeth? Perhaps your teeth may even be breaking or causing extreme pain. Unfortunately, this is a common symptom of amalgam fillings which were the standard of care up until only a few years ago. Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, have been used for over a hundred years by dentists all over the world to fill a decaying tooth to protect it from further damage.

Unfortunately, the risks of amalgam fillings weren’t fully realised until it was already the most widely used dental restorative material in the world, with patients years later experiencing the long-term impact of this hazardous metallic composition.

Dental fillings are used to fill a hole or cavity in a tooth. You will likely need a filling if you have decay in the tooth or the structure of the tooth has experienced trauma. 



Why do amalgam fillings need to be replaced?

A dental amalgam filling is comprised of alloy of multiple metallic elements like mercury, tin, silver, copper, and other metals. The metals present in the amalgam become unstable over time and undergo corrosion, releasing several harmful metallic compounds which disturb the integrity of the tooth. Since the fillings are made of metals, they expand and contract with changes in temperature inside the mouth, over time resulting in the breaking of the tooth causing further decay. The cracks that develop can cause severe nerve pain and in some cases can even split the tooth in half. 

Amalgam fillings are often known as ‘silver fillings’ and will give an obvious silver-like appearance to the tooth. Over the years, more and more dentists have begun to stand against the use of amalgam fillings as more bouts of evidence and patients in pain walk through their doors. Even the World Health Organisation has taken a stance against the use of mercury in dentistry, shocking those who still vehemently supported the use of amalgam fillings.

What if you have existing amalgam fillings?

Are there any alternatives for these fillings? 

The use of metals is a growing concern in the health sector as the environment today is widely different from that of generations ago. The high mercury content in amalgam-based fillings can cause a form of vapour release due to actions such as teeth grinding and gum chewing, as well as during removal of the filling.

This vapour can be dangerous for some patients, and those with amalgam fillings often report an increased level of mercury in their blood or urine. This can be particularly concerning for those with a mercury allergy, pregnant or nursing women, children, and those with neurological or kidney issues.

Aside from the potential risks posed by mercury exposure, amalgam fillings are notorious for causing fractures to the tooth and allowing decay to grow beneath the surface of the filling’s hard exterior. Decay can appear as a feeling of the tooth falling away or crumbling while eating something as inconspicuous as toast and shooting pain through the jaw. 

One of the most common questions we hear from patients with amalgam fillings is regarding when and how they can get them removed. The process will begin with an x-ray and intraoral pictures plus a gathering of all dental and medical history. We will determine the number of fillings needing removal, the size of the fillings and the location within the mouth. If there is any impact on the health or composition of the teeth, such as the amalgam filling leaking, decaying, or damaging the structure of the tooth, we will recommend removal and replacement as soon as possible. 

At KB Village Dental, we have two successful procedures to help patients with old amalgam fillings, allowing them to achieve a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing smile.


Tooth Coloured Fillings

These days, fillings no longer stand out like a sore thumb in your mouth, with perfectly colour matched fillings now readily available as either composite fillings or porcelain fillings. We can get a 3D view of your teeth to create a perfectly sculpted and aesthetically pleasing tooth coloured filling to have you walking out the door with newfound comfort and confidence. 


Dental Crowns 

If your amalgam filling has resulted in a cracked tooth, the pain can be extreme and the damage extensive. One of the most affordable and efficient ways to repair a cracked tooth is to have a specially designed dental crown installed. Using CEREC CAD-CAM technology, we can create your crown during a single visit, so you can avoid lengthy procedures, messy impressions, and temporary fixes. Your crown will have your mouth looking new and feeling more comfortable than ever. 

We pride ourselves on being an affordable dentist in North Sydney offering a wide range of non-toxic options to fix the damage caused by amalgam fillings and other outdated dentistry techniques. Our dental clinic in North Shore is fully equipped for you to be calm and confident during your treatment. We understand the reasons why you’ve avoided the dentist and do all we can to ensure your visit is judgement-free and comfortable. 

Our ability to remove and repair your amalgam filling within the one visit means that you can get back to life without disrupting your routine, taking care of what’s been in the back of your mind once and for all. One of the biggest complaints we hear from patients is that they’re embarrassed to laugh or smile with their ‘silver tooth’ getting in the way. Thanks to modern composite fillings and crowns, you will not notice any sign of dental work and you’ll be able to smile wide and crack up laughing without a second thought. 

If you have amalgam fillings that are causing your teeth to break, impacting your confidence and your comfort, don’t delay in switching to safer alternatives that are readily available thanks to modern dentistry. If your dentist recommends a dental filling, make sure that you choose an alternative filling material like ceramic (porcelain) or composite resin that is both safer and aesthetically pleasing. It has never been more affordable, safer, or easier to bring your teeth to perfect health to make your smile shine bright. 

To book in a consultation regarding your amalgam filling or to address any other dental concern, simply get in touch online, or give us a call on 02 9132 4376.