Out With The Old Fillings, In With The New

Spring cleaning is quite the odd chore. Can you think of any other time of year that, when it comes around, invites you to start picking up your house in order to celebrate it?

You’re always surprised by what you find under the clutter and the dust, aren’t you? Every year, you find something that you’d thought you’d lost or misplaced. That always brings back memories you’ve attached to the object; they come flooding back in, as if the item in question had never left you.

Of course, you can’t hold on to everything. The whole point of Spring cleaning is to tidy your home to meet the new year in earnest, and to make room for new things and the new memories you’ll associate with them.

In the same way, you should think about conducting a Spring cleaning on those old fillings of yours.

You know: Those old gold fillings tucked way back inside of your mouth? The ones you got ages ago, and make your mouth look more like a mineshaft than anything else?

If you’re a believer in the power of Spring cleaning and the clarity of mind it can bring, then why are you letting those ancient metal fillings hang around in your smile?

It probably never occurred to you that you should get those old fillings replaced. They’ve done their job so far, so why should you bother with them? Leave well enough alone, right?

Not quite. If you have old fillings that have remained unchecked for years, then they could be causing unseen damage to the overall health of your smile.

And if you think you have to get them replaced with more metal, you’re wrong there, too, because I can fit your teeth with composite fillings that are far more natural-looking than any gold or silver amalgam fillings could ever be.

The metals contained within amalgam fillings, while recognized as safe by the American Dental Association, are often chemically held together by mercury. A lot of people who have learned about the adverse health effects of mercury are no longer comfortable with the idea.

But those aren’t the only issues that have been raised with metal fillings.

Metal, for the most part, reacts strongly depending upon the ambient temperature. When the temperature is hot, the metal can expand. When the temperature is cold, the metal can contract.

This expansion and contraction can occur right inside of your tooth – maybe you’ve felt it yourself. It can be extremely painful.

It can also threaten the health of the tooth that the filling is supposed to protect. If that sounds strange, consider this: Over time, with enough expansion and contraction, the filling can wear itself out, for lack of a better term. When this happens, pieces of it can actually break off and escape throughout your body.

If that wasn’t bad enough, metal amalgam fillings that have broken in this fashion allow for food particles to easily become trapped beneath the broken and filling and the tooth. Once this happens, those food particles will quickly rot and accelerate the growth of harmful bacteria which will further damage underlying teeth.

Yet because there remains a partially intact metal filling over top of it, your toothbrush is powerless to penetrate and clean the exposed underlying tooth. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure what happens next: In a short amount of time, that bacteria will eat away at the tooth, causing more damage and requiring that the filling be replaced.

If you wait until that point, you will be facing more pain and more expense than you have to. The good news is that my practice has a special machine that painlessly extracts metal fillings to prevent this from ever happening. When you choose to have those old, potentially dangerous fillings removed, then I can replace them with composite fillings that are not only more resilient to cracking and breaking, but will blend with the coloring of your natural teeth.

Otherwise, the results could be disastrous. In the same way if you never clean your house, if you never have your old fillings inspected and ultimately replaced, your smile can become a dilapidated mess. Tooth decay and gum disease and set in, and before long your entire smile is at risk for total ruin.

Don’t let Spring cleaning season pass your smile by, and schedule an appointment with my office to get you out of those old fillings and into new, natural-looking ones.

You can make your appointment by calling me at 509-519-0515, or by filling out this simple online form right here on my website.

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