Also called Amalgam Fillings
Silver fillings have been used for many years and have been highly effective. They last a long time, work very well and are strong.
Silver fillings or Amalgam fillings are alloys of various metals, but usually 50% of the alloy is mercury. This mercury is bound to the other alloys in the amalgam and because it is bound to other alloys, it does not leak out of the fillings very much. However, mercury is toxic at small levels.
Silver Fillings And Corrosion
As the fillings age, they begin to corrode. The longer they are left in the tooth, the more damage can occur. Silver fillings that are large such as these fillings, will crack the teeth because the expand and contract greater than the tooth. So, when we drink hot foods the silver will expand greater than the tooth causing the tooth to crack over time.
Cracked teeth will hurt with a sharp pain when you bite. It is very noticeable because the pain is quick, sharp and usually goes away quickly. Once the nerve gets involved the tooth can become hot and cold sensitive.
Hot And Cold Tooth Sensitivity
There are a lot of reasons for sensitivity of a cavity under the silver filling. Many of these cavities do not show up clearly on an x-ray and some digital x-rays are not as high a quality as film type x-rays so decay can be missed. If the decay gets too deep, the bacteria which cause decay can get into the nerve of your tooth causing an infection and eventually an abscess.
Silver Fillings And Crowns
When a large silver filling and all of the decay is removed, the hole in your tooth can be huge. Generally, the huge hole is filled with a build up material and then the tooth is crowned to add strength. Porcelain Crowns or Gold Crowns are used to add structural strength to your tooth so you can chew and bite hot and cold with power for many more years. Sometimes a half crown or partial crown can be made to save the remaining tooth structure. You and your dentist need to discuss and decide the best care for you.