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I Want My Silver Fillings OUT!

I’ve had silver fillings for years. Yes, they’ve served me well. But, at the time I got them it was our only option. These days, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren are all getting white fillings. I want those. My silver fillings have always conducted heat, which with my mouthful of metal can be uncomfortable. My dentist, who is close to my age, said he’s not that interested in removing something that’s been used for years yet still in good shape. I think he’s just ready to retire and not interested in learning new things. Is there anything I need to know to get these changed out? Can any dentist do it?


Dear Stan,

Image of mercury-free composite filings

Composite Fillings are Mercury-free

You can definitely get those old amalgams (silver) fillings out! The key will be finding a dentist who can do it safely. It’s actually to your benefit that your old dentist refused. He likely didn’t know how to do a sanitary amalgam removal. That’s extremely important because the main ingredient in your silver fillings is actually mercury, a known toxin.

Studies have shown that mercury vapors are released during the removal process, which you don’t want. Plus, you don’t want to risk accidentally swallowing bits of the filling, which is a health hazard. That’s why there is a special process to remove these old fillings to protect the patient.

Finding a Dentist to Remove Your Old Silver Fillings

Looking for a mercury-free dentist will be your best bet. Most of them will be familiar with the sanitary removal process. Just do a quick check and ask them how they’ll protect you from the mercury and mercury vapors during the process.

If they don’t have a specific protocol in place, including using a stopper dam, then look for a different dentist.

After that, it’s easy to get your new white fillings placed. You’ll find not only will you not have the discomfort of conducting heat that often comes with metal fillings, but you’ll have less sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks. Plus, the composite material bonds directly to your tooth which is a stronger bond. Your old fillings actually weakened your teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.