Amalgam, Silver and Mercury Removals in Brighton, Brisbane
In a fact sheet issued in March 2017, the World Health Organization recommended the phasing out of mercury-based amalgam fillings. This process was already well underway in the dental care industry. While amalgam has served us well for many years as the go-to dental solution for cavities, it’s time has now passed.
Today, better alternatives, such as composite resin, look better and do not contain mercury or other toxic substances. But what if you already have one or more amalgam fillings? Safe amalgam removal is a specialist procedure we can perform at Brighton Dental Suite.
Reasons to Replace Amalgam Fillings?
Silver or amalgam fillings can last for 15 years, or sometimes much longer if they are well-fitted and you take good care of your teeth. But they can become loose over time. Even if they are not failing, you might opt for a silver filling replacement for aesthetic reasons – they tend to go from silver to black over time, so they do not give the most natural look. You might also decide on filling removal and replacement due to the health risks mentioned by the WHO regarding the mercury and other toxic elements in amalgam fillings.
Filling Removal and Replacement – The Process
Research has shown that the health risks associated with mercury in amalgam fillings are minor. While the filling is sound and in place, the mercury exposure is negligible. Replacing mercury fillings is more likely to cause mercury vapour to be released than just leaving well alone, so it is important to have the work done by an experienced mercury removal dentist who will take the correct precautions.
Our dentists have performed hundreds of amalgam removal procedures at Brighton Dental Suite. First, we will check the condition of the existing filling for any cracks, looseness or other signs of wear. We will then discuss the options with you. If the final decision is to remove and replace the amalgam filling, we will follow a special procedure that will protect you from potential exposure to mercury vapour or other toxic materials.
With the old filling removed, we will safely dispose of it and check the health of the underlying tooth, dealing with any decay that might be present. Finally, we will install a new white filling made of composite resin that will blend more naturally with the tooth.
Schedule an Appointment Today
We offer same-day visits and late opening hours that work around your child’s school schedule. Contact our friendly, caring today to book a time for removing your old silver fillings in Brighton! We’re providers with Medibank, HCF and MDF. You can claim your health fund rebate on the spot with our HICAPS machine.
* Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.
Common Questions For Amalgam Removals
What are amalgam fillings?
Amalgam is the material that has been used to make what are often called silver fillings for almost 200 years. It is formed of 50 per cent mercury by weight. It is robust and cost-effective, but as it contains mercury has led to calls from the WHO for its use to be phased out.
Should amalgam fillings be removed?
If the filling is cracked, chipped or exhibiting other damage, it must be removed and replaced. Also, you might choose to remove amalgam fillings if you are concerned about the presence of mercury or because it has blackened and you simply want a more aesthetic alternative.
How long does amalgam replacement take?
That depends on your exact circumstances, such as how many fillings are being replaced and whether any decay is exposed beneath the old filling. However, in most cases, the removal, checking, and replacement process takes less than an hour.
Does it hurt to have a silver filling replaced?
No, you will be given a local anaesthetic, so after that initial short sharp scratch, you won’t feel a thing during the procedure. You might have some tenderness and sensitivity for a couple of days afterwards, but it will not last for long, and any discomfort can be dealt with using over-the-counter pain medication.
How much does silver filling replacement cost?
It depends on the size of the filling to be replaced and we find our patients pay on average between $200-$350. In some situations when the amalgam is so big that it weakens the tooth, a stronger alternative such as a dental crown is a better option.
Is it worth removing an amalgam filling?
If the filling fails, for example, if it is cracked or loose, it makes sense to remove it to avoid further problems like decay and pain. If it is still sound and effective, it might be better to leave it in place. It is your decision, and your dentist will be happy to discuss the alternatives with you. It is important to remember to use a mouthguard when you play physical activities, thus ensuring limited prevention of existing fillings.
How often should fillings be replaced?
An amalgam filling usually lasts between 10 and 15 years. Your dentist will check your fillings during routine check-ups and let you know if any show signs of weakness or failure. Fillings must be replaced before they fail to avoid additional damage or decay to the tooth.
Speak to our dentists to find out if further general dentistry is required.