This is one of the most common consultations in cosmetic dentistry today, since some years back, treatments and dental materials were limited and cosmetic dentistry was not such an important topic. Here are all the reasons why you should change amalgams, both aesthetic and health reasons:
1. The fillings do not stick to the teeth, they applied by mechanical action: This means that since the amalgam does not adhere to the tooth –due to it being a metal-, it causes micro leakage of bacteria over time which can later cause sensitivity and dental cavities.
2. The metal from the amalgams get into the teeth’s microtubules causing tooth stains that are very difficult to remove: Teeth are composed of many tiny tubules, the metal amalgam slowly peels off of the restoration, and the larger it is, the more stained the tooth shall be and the harder it will be to restore it aesthetically, even when completely removing the amalgam.
3. Amalgams are harder than the tooth itself: Although many patients believe that this is good, this really means that with a very strong bite force you can break the tooth itself even before the amalgam, due to the "wedge" action, unlike the resins which have a hardness similar to the tooth to help dissipate the force that can fracture the tooth at the same time.
4. To perform an amalgam it is necessary to carve more of the tooth than necessary: Since they do not adhere to the tooth, an additional cavity must be performed after removing the cavities so that the amalgam is properly packed. This is one of the reasons why amalgams are normally large and this goes against the principle of conservative dentistry with which we work today.
5. Amalgams cause "Tattoos" in the gum: The very metal from the amalgam eventually peels out from it, causing dark patches on the gum with a bad appearance, especially when these spots occur in the area of the smile.
6. With time and with chewing, we tend to ingest metal waste and mercury present in these amalgams: The amalgams are made of metal and mercury that get mixed in tiny portions with the food we eat daily.
7. They produce sensitivity by a phenomenon known as "galvanic shock": Given that they are made of metal, when the amalgam of a superior tooth strikes a posterior tooth from below, it produces something similar to an electric shock that in turn, causes a tooth sensitivity that can only stop by avoiding said shocks.
8. Secondary cavities not visible in RX equipment: Due to the composition of amalgam, bright spots appear when dental x-rays are taken. These spots often mask cavities that are starting or that are even moderately advanced, hindering a correct diagnosis and allowing bacteria to progress silently.
9. Aesthetic Dentistry: The most common reason of all is that there is nothing like laughing out loud and looking at yourself in the mirror without seeing unappealing stains that can sometimes be mistaken for cavities. There is nothing like the reassurance of having a natural, clean look that aesthetic restorations make on resins that are applied after removal of amalgams.