I have three silver fillings starting with my upper left lateral incisor and back. The fillings are old, and I want them replaced with composite. My dentist told me that the silver fillings may have stained my teeth, and the stains might show if I replaced them with white fillings. I don’t understand this and have not heard of it before. Can silver fillings stain teeth? If so, can a dentist remove the stains before placing white fillings? Maybe my dentist doesn’t want to do white fillings. Thanks for your help. Vivian
Thank you for contacting Delaune Dental in Metairie. We understand your concerns about the appearance of your teeth after removing amalgam fillings.
Do Silver Teeth Fillings Stain Your Teeth?
Amalgam (silver) fillings can discolor your teeth as they age, but the discoloration is usually insignificant. Still, a 2009 Journal of Dentistry report on the effects of amalgam on dentin (the layer beneath tooth enamel) published findings after reviewing articles on amalgam removal, including the following:
- Darkly discolored dentin may be present beneath amalgam restoration
- The dentin contains amalgam corrosion products
- The dark dentin is demineralized
When a dentist replaces an amalgam filling with composite, it strengthens your tooth and improves its appearance. A cosmetic dentist will ensure your teeth and smile are attractive.
How Do Silver and Amalgam Fillings Compare?
Placing composite fillings on back teeth is very different than using amalgam. The process takes more time and more skill. According to the American Dental Association, it is easier for a dentist to place amalgam fillings than tooth-colored fillings. A dentist must isolate the tooth with a cavity and keep it perfectly dry to ensure the composite adheres to your tooth.
If your dentist is uncomfortable placing the composite fillings, we suggest finding a mercury-free cosmetic dentist with post-graduate training and experience with composite fillings. If you insist on a treatment your dentist is uncomfortable with, you may not get natural-looking results or fillings that last.