I recently made an appointment to have amalgam fillings removed from two back teeth and replaced with composite. My dentist kind of “warned” me that there might be some staining on my teeth from the silver fillings and to not expect my teeth to look completely white. Maybe I’m crazy, but it just really felt as if he was trying to talk me out of doing it altogether. Will these teeth be stained from the old fillings and if so, is there a way to remove the staining? Also, the fillings are pretty large – probably about 70% of my tooth. Will the white fillings be better than amalgam as far as strength and durability? — Steve
It’s no secret that taking out old amalgam fillings and replacing them with white composite fillings will definitely look better. Your teeth might be slightly discolored from the amalgam fillings, but since it is on the back teeth, it shouldn’t be very noticeable at all.
With that said, it does sound very much like your dentist is in a round-about way trying to talk you out of the composite fillings. It’s probably because he is simply not comfortable doing them, but doesn’t want to come right out and say it. There’s a big difference in how composite fillings are placed in back teeth compared to amalgam and when it’s not done correctly there can be all sorts of problems and even damage to the teeth. If your dentist seems reluctant, don’t push the issue and instead, find another dentist who is trained in that area.
Another red flag to consider is the size of the fillings. If they are as big as you say, your dentist really should have done crowns. However, if you stick with fillings, composite will definitely be stronger and more durable because they bond to the tooth where as amalgam fillings just sit in the tooth, making it’s easier for the tooth to break or fracture.