New Dentist Says Replacing Silver with Composite will Increase Chance of Root Canal, is This True?

My old dentist put metal fillings in teeth that are visible (the ones behind the bicuspids on both sides). You can see the metal through the sides if the teeth and in the space between the teeth. My new dentist just ignores my requests to replace them with composite. He says it will increase my chances if needing a root canal in the future. One of the teeth appears blue from the side and it makes me super self conscious and depressed. Is it impossible for me to fix this?

Doctor Answers 3

Should I replace my silver fillings with tooth colored composite fillings?

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Actually your metal fillings are not silver, but 50% MERCURY, and then the rest a combination of silver, copper, tin and zinc.  They called it "silver" because the mercury imparts a silver color to the filling when first put in.  Later they corrode and turn black.  By the way, the technology of mercury amalgam fillings dates back to the Civil War days.....old technology!

One of the big disadvantages of the mercury amalgam fillings are that they expand and contract, as most metals do.  When they contract, there is a gap that allows bacteria to enter the space under the filling.  When they expand they can cause older teeth to crack.

Modern dental composites do actually strengthen the teeth.  There is no gap and they do not expand and contract as the old mercury amalgam fillings do.

You don't have any more risks of needing a root canal with composites than with amalgams.  I feel so strongly over the advantages of dental composites over dental amalgam that 15 years ago I had all my old amalgams removed and replaced with more modern tooth colored materials, porcelain or composites.

Laguna Niguel Dentist

Changing metals

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Do it, if you see color blue,its because there is decay and bacteria,underneath,worry not about root cannals, in case you need it, its  avery simple proceedure,but just remove those metals,from your mouth

Replacing Silver Filling with Composite

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Anytime a tooth is drilled upon, there is always a chance the nerve will be affected, sometimes requiring Root Canal. The larger and deeper the filling, the greater the chance. That being said, it is not a reason to avoid fixing teeth! The dentist must do what is necessary to correct defective fillings or to satisfy your cosmetic requests, even if it results in needing Root Canal treatment.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.