Dentist Walnut Creek Replacing Metal Fillings

Metal Filling Replacement in Walnut Creek Uncovered

Many of our Walnut Creek dental patients have wondered if they should schedule an appointment to have metal filling replacement in Walnut Creek. This is a very common procedure that your Walnut Creek dentists suggest if your metal fillings are older.


Although there has been no conclusive research that shows silver mercury fillings are harmful to your teeth, in our experience we have seen a lot of problems that occur underneath these old fillings. These problems can not be easily observed from the surface or with X-rays because of the metal’s opaque color. When decay gets under the fillings and cracks in the teeth, it’s difficult to see a cavity under the filling until they are quite extensive.


Research shows that if you don’t use any X-rays you can see 50% of what is happening below the surface of a metal filling. With a full set of X-rays you will still only see about 80-85% of what is happening, so there is a 15-20% chance that cavities will go undetected with older metal fillings.


A tooth colored fillings have a lot of variation in the materials that they are made from, so your Walnut Creek dentists are unable to say that they are the superior material for seeing dental problems with an X-ray. However, the advantage of tooth colored fillings is that on the tooth colored filling you’ll be able to see problems starting because of staining around the edges. The seal between the tooth and the filling is breaking down once these stains are visible, which is a sign that something needs to be done to protect your tooth.


Another factor to consider when getting metal filling replacement in Walnut Creek, is cracks in the teeth, which is especially common for patients in their forties and fifties. The metal filling does not strengthen the teeth and essentially acts like a wedge when you bite down. If the filling is more than about half of the width of the tooth, there is a good chance that the tooth is going to crack, break or chip. If the filling a third of the size of the tooth, it is less likely but still risky.


Ultimately, whether you decide to replace all of your fillings depends on your preference and your Walnut Creek dentist’s recommendation. Some patients decide on metal filling replacement in stages. If this is the case, it is recommended that patients start with the bigger and more problematic areas such as the back molars. If you have a question about metal filling replacement in Walnut Creek, feel free to make an appointment here or call us at (925) 937-9017