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Dental Amalgam Fillings

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Pierson58

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Dental amalgam is a safe, effective material for filling cavities. Amalgam filling (silver) is a mixture of different metals such as 65% silver, 6% copper, 2% zinc and 25% tin bound with elemental mercury. Triturating is the process of mixing these alloys together with mercury. These fillings usually last 12 years or longer.

This procedure is done by first removing the decay from the tooth. The tooth is then shaped in a specific manner in order to accept this filling material. A band may be placed around your tooth and the amalgam is "condensed" in to the prepared tooth. The amalgam is than mixed and placed into the tooth. The final filling is then carved and adjusted to your bite.

Advantages
Amalgam fillings are strong and can withstand the forces of chewing. They are relatively inexpensive. An amalgam filling can be completed in one dental visit. They expand over time to fill the entire space of the cavity. They are quick and easy to install.

Disadvantages
Amalgam doesn't match the color of your teeth. Healthy parts of your tooth often must be removed to make a space large enough to hold an amalgam filling. They do break down over time. The mercury in an amalgam expands and contracts with temperature change. It places pressure within the tooth. It weakens the enamel walls of the tooth, resulting in a tooth breakage. The filling widens at the very place where the tooth starts to narrow as it goes down to the root which creates an inherent weakness in the tooth. Some people may be allergic to mercury or be concerned about its effects.

What care should be take after Amalgam fillings?

It takes two weeks for your filling to harden completely. So do not chew on this surface for the first 24 hours. The tooth may be sensitive to hot and cold liquids and foods for the first four to six weeks or longer. Be careful not the chew or bite your lip or gums because this area is numb. Avoid hot or spicy foods until the numbness wears off. Ice, hard candy and sticky foods should be eaten with caution or avoided entirely. Brush 2 to 3 times a day, especially before going to bed and floss once a day.
 

angel fingers

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i'm contemplating having all my amalgam fillings removed and replaced by white ones, does anyone have any advice to offer ?
 

Snugglepuss

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Interesting thread (although I'm not sure why you have posted this as your first post :hug:) and welcome to the site :hug:

I have been concerned about amalgam fillings for some time. Indeed I have "suffered "breakage off my teeth where the amalgam meets the healthy part of the tooth!

To be honest if I could afford to have all my teeth crowned/capped (I have 4 at the moment) then I definitely would and not have any amalgam fillings at all!
 

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