Why do my old silver fillings look black?

The silver (amalgam) fillings that were used for many years contained a mixture of metal alloy containing, silver, tin, copper and mercury. As with many metals that are exposed to a wet environment they will begin to break down and oxidize, often times turning black. When this happens the filling itself is weakened and shrinks, which allows bacteria to enter the gaps and create new decay.
Your regular exam and hygiene visits allow us to check any fillings you have and look for new leakage and decay.

Our office has elected to no longer use silver (amalgam) fillings for our patients, following many studies and concerns related to the mercury they contain. In 2007 when our new office was built we followed protocol requiring the installment of a mercury trap to contain and collect any waste from old fillings. This is then removed from our office on a routine basis and handled by a Biohazard waste specialist group to ensure safe disposal.

Many of ur patients comment that they really like the look of their new white (composite) fillings as it returns their teeth to a more natural looking state. We hope this makes them smile a lot more too.

Is it time to check your old fillings to make sure they are safe and healthy?

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On August 25, 2015

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