Dr. Ulm does not place amalgam fillings in his office. He does believe they are a good restorative option, but sometimes these silver fillings can lead to cracks and craze lines in your teeth. Amalgam fillings are a metal base, which means they can expand and contract as you eat hot and cold foods. This can lead to an insufficient "seal" between the tooth and the filling material which can then cause the filling to "leak". When a restoration is leaking, it means food and debris can get between the filling and tooth which causes a cavity to form from within the tooth structure.
There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and Dr. Ulm can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Amalgam fillings, along with composite (tooth colored) fillings, are the most widely used today. However, with more advancements in technology composite fillings are becoming more of the standard of care.
As with most dental restorations, amalgam fillings are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable, and typically last many years, but sometimes need to be removed to ensure sound tooth structure.
What does Removing an amalgam filling involve?
While the tooth is numb, Dr. Ulm will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleansed and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. A filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when amalgam fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
You will be given post-care instructions at the completion of your treatment. Proper oral hygiene, good eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.