Replacing Metal (Amalgam) Fillings: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions

  • Posted on: Feb 27 2013

In the past, when patients needed a cavity filled, metal or “amalgam” materials were often their only real option.  Thankfully, modern dentistry now affords us an effective, aesthetically-pleasing alternative: dental composites.  Also known as “white fillings,” you can think of dental composites as essentially super-hard plastics.  Restoring a tooth’s strength and stability, white fillings are now the preferred course of treatment for many dental professionals.

So, what about the countless men and women living with metal fillings?  Many choose to replace older fillings with one of these newer, tooth-colored materials.  To help you decide if that’s the right option for you, we wanted to take a moment to answer some of the most common questions we hear from patients.  Ready to find out more?

Here is our list of the Top 5 Patient Questions About Replacing Metal (Amalgam) Fillings:

  1. Why do patients replace their metal fillings? While metal fillings offer strength and stability, for some patients, they present a cosmetic concern.  Often a blemish to an otherwise perfect smile, many patients choose to replace their amalgam fillings in order to achieve a whiter, healthier, more uniform appearance.
  2. Are metal fillings dangerous? Some concerns have been raised over the presence of mercury in dental amalgam.  Generally understood to be a safe, stable material, many today regard dental composites as simply the healthier option.  Often described as “biocompatible,” white fillings also represent an important alternative for those with a metal allergy.
  3. What does a white filling procedure entail? To remove metal fillings, we begin by numbing the area with a local anesthetic.  Using a drill, the metal filling is then broken up and removed from the tooth.   After removing any surrounding decay, the tooth is then filled with a color-matched composite resin.  A dental curing light is then used to harden the filling and ensure adequate adhesion.
  4. How else are dental composites being used? Beyond their use in replacing metal fillings, tooth-colored materials are now being used to address a variety of common cosmetic concerns.  Applied in a procedure known as “dental bonding,” composite resins can be used to correct irregularities such as chipped, misshapen or gapped teeth.
  5. Are white fillings right for me? The best way to learn more about replacing metal fillings is to schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area.  Patients in New York City, Long Island and the surrounding areas are encouraged to contact our offices directly at (800) 583-9285 or through our online contact form.

White Fillings in New York

To learn more about replacing metal fillings or any of the general and cosmetic services we offer, contact us today and schedule your consultation. We have nine locations and twelve affiliate locations throughout the New York metropolitan area including the Bronx, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Midtown Manhattan, Yonkers, Farmingville, Hauppauge, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma. We look forward to serving you.

Posted in: Dental Bites