A silver amalgam filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a silver filling.
There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Amalgam fillings, along with composite (tooth colored) fillings, are the most widely used today. An amalgam filling is more commonly used in the back teeth since the color is not as aesthetic as a composite filling.
As with most dental restorations, amalgam fillings are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting smile.
Reasons for amalgam fillings:
Cracked or broken teeth.
What does getting an amalgam filling involve?
Amalgam fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleansed and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The silver filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when amalgam fillings are first placed, however this will subside with time after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. If this sensitivity does not subside or increases over time, you should contact your dentist. In many cases, simple bite adjustment may correct the issue. Occasionally, if the decay was very deep (especially if it was close to the nerve and special medication was applied for added protection), the nerve of the tooth may start dying requiring a root canal therapy. Your dentist will perform additional test to determine if a root canal therapy is indicated.
You will be given post-care instructions at the completion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.