Reasons You Should Consider Replacing Silver Fillings

8 Reasons You Should Consider Replacing Silver Fillings

Silver fillings have been around for centuries. These unsightly chunks of metal have been the only option available for anybody who needed a tooth filled for the longest time. Even though fewer and fewer dental surgeries use these metallic forms of fillings, many people still have them from previous trips to the dentist. As we move into 2022, you might have been thinking about getting your silver fillings replaced with something a little more modern. Here at Smile Stories, we use a more advanced form of tooth-coloured rebuild, and we love it. 

Although they are commonly referred to as silver fillings, they are actually made of amalgam, a mixture of mercury, silver, copper, tin and zinc. They were developed by French dentist Auguste Taveau in 1816….hence why we think it is time for an update. Keep reading our post to find out exactly why you should consider replacing your silver fillings.

1. Silver Fillings Don’t Look Natural

We all have our insecurities and parts of our bodies we would like to change; that is certainly the case for people and their teeth. In fact, there is an unsurprising link between poor dental oral health and low self-esteem. Silver fillings are quite obvious whenever you open your mouth wide, which could stop you from wanting to laugh, smile or open your mouth at all. If you hate the look of your silver fillings, it is time for a change.

Nowadays, there are newer, far more natural-looking alternatives. Here at Smile Stories, we use tooth-coloured fillings, which are not only better in almost every way, but importantly, they are barely visible. Don’t be embarrassed by your fillings any longer. 

2. Silver Fillings Don’t Last Forever

Have you considered getting your silver fillings replaced but don’t want to commit because your silver filling still works? Your silver fillings may be okay for now, but it is worth remembering that silver fillings have a limited lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. That means you will have to get your filling replaced at some point, so you might as well get a head start. 

Also, just because you have a few more years left of your silver fillings doesn’t mean you have to wait until the end of their lifespan. You can come and see our incredible team of smile architects and find out more about our tooth-coloured fillings.

3. Silver Fillings Contains Mercury

You have probably heard of the heavy metal mercury? The metal that is fairly toxic to humans and the environment? So, your silver or amalgam filling actually contains elemental mercury, according to the FDA.

Mercury is known to cause adverse health effects on your brain, kidneys and liver, among other parts of the body. Therefore, replacing those silver fillings is not only important for your appearance, it could also be important for your health.

4. Silver Fillings Can React to Temperature Changes

Your silver fillings are made up of a number of different metals such as silver, tin and copper, etc., which are all highly sensitive to temperature changes. This might not sound like a huge problem, but it means that your silver fillings can expand and contract as you eat hot and cold foods. When this happens a lot, it can cause damage to the teeth around the filling and cause them to chip or even break. Definitely, something we can avoid with our modern-filling technology. 

5. Silver Fillings Can Be Dangerous

As we previously mentioned, silver or amalgam fillings contain elemental mercury, which can have harmful side effects on your body. Not only does mercury have toxic effects on your nervous, digestive and immune systems and on lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes, but mercury poisoning can even be fatal. In fact, the World Health Organization have called it “one of the top ten chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern”. Having said all this, the British Dental Association have said that amalgam remains a safe material to use when it comes to fillings.

Silver fillings can also be dangerous if you don’t replace them. If you don’t replace your silver filling when necessary, it can cause damage to your teeth and may eventually lead to the need for a crown. Avoid a pricey crown and another dental procedure by replacing your silver fillings at our cosmetic dentist.

6. Silver Fillings Can Cause Decay

When you have had a silver filling for a while, the seal can often become less effective. And when bacteria breach your silver filling that was originally sealed, it can cause damaging tooth decay. When this happens, it means that your teeth become far more sensitive. If you experience increased sensitivity, it is important to visit your dentist, or alternatively, start the process of replacing your filling with one of our modern tooth-coloured fillings. 

7. What If You Clench or Grind Your Teeth?

Chewing puts enough force and pressure on your teeth and fillings as it is. However, if you are one of those people who clenches or grinds your teeth, you will find that amalgam fillings break down at a very fast rate. This won’t be such a problem with more modern fillings. 

8. Silver Fillings Can Cause Staining

Over time, silver fillings also tend to discolour and percolate the tooth. This happens when grey liquid leaches out from the filling and gives your tooth a grey-ish, darker appearance. If this happens, you can look into our teeth whitening options, or go ahead with our tooth-coloured fillings and avoid any future discolouration. 

So there you have it, silver fillings have had their time in the sun, but the fact of the matter is that they are just a bit outdated. If you have ever had a filling, the chances are that it is a silver one, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do something about it. Here at Smile Stories, we always want to be different and the best, which is why we offer our ultra-modern tooth-coloured fillings. Silver fillings have always been second best, now our tooth-coloured fillings take gold. 

Find out how something as simple as a filling can change how you feel about your smile. Contact Smile Stories today about our tooth-coloured fillings and book your free video consultation.


Dr Gareth Edwards BDS (Hons) MFDS RCPS (Glasg) is a dentist who qualified with honours. Based in the Poole and Bournemouth area, he has a keen interest in teeth straightening and aesthetic dentistry and is a certified Invisalign provider.

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