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What To Know About Replacing A Silver Filling With Composite Resin

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Do you have silver fillings in your teeth, and your dentist recommends that you remove those fillings and replace them with a composite resin material? If so, you'll likely have some questions about this process. 

Why Replace Silver Fillings?

One of the common problems with silver fillings is that they are made out of metal, which means that they will expand and contract slightly over time. Think of it like ice that forms in a crack in a sidewalk, and how the crack will gradually expand over time and cause the crack to get bigger. The same logic applies to your teeth, since you can have a crack form and get bigger over time due to the silver filling.

Does every silver filling need to be replaced? Not necessarily. Your dentist may recommend replacing a silver filling when there is a small crack and they want to prevent it from turning into a large fracture. If the crack becomes too big, the tooth may need a crown placed on it due to irreversible damage. 

How Is The Silver Filling Removed? 

The dentist will use a drill to remove the silver filling material. Since silver is not bonded to the tooth and held in place with a small lip, the silver filling may come out quite easily. While the dentist is removing the silver filling, they will also remove any decay that they see and any stained dentin as a result of the silver filling material.

What Is The Risk Of Removing A Silver Filling?

The biggest risk that can happen by removing a silver filling is having the walls of the tooth collapse. This may happen if you have a particularly large silver filling, and the filling itself is what is still holding the tooth together. If this were to happen, it's possible that the tooth can be built back up with bonding material. If that is not possible, then it may be recommended to use a dental crown to fix the tooth and give it strength once again.

How Is The Resin Filling Applied? 

A special bonding agent will be applied to the tooth's surface to apply the resin filling. The resin can then be applied to the tooth and shaped to form the top of the tooth where the silver filling once was. The family dentist will check to make sure that the filling aligns with your bite, and then harden the resin with a curing light.