Q. I had many silver fillings done when I was a teenager, and I was wondering. Should I have them replaced for health reasons? Are the new tooth-colored fillings acceptable for back teeth or are they for front teeth only?
A. If you are over 30, you probably grew up with silver fillings, also called amalgam or alloy fillings. These are great restorations, they are strong, and they will provide years of service. There are some people who say they pose a health risk although it has never been proven with a scientific study, and both the American Dental Association and FDA have found them safe.
The new tooth-colored or composite fillings are great! The materials are getting better and better, and they are now accepted by the dental profession as equals to silver fillings. There are many advantages to the tooth-colored fillings, including the many colors which allow us to place them in a way they can’t be seen. White fillings are also bonded to the tooth which makes a better restoration. Tooth-colored fillings are acceptable for back teeth as well and can help rid your smile of gray shadows caused by the silver fillings of years past.
The best thing to do is to ask your trusted dentist about what choices you have for a needed restoration.
Mark D. McOmie, DMD
McOmie Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
5999 Shallowford Rd., Chattanooga, TN