Amalgam Filling Removal

Amalgam Filling Removal in Scottsdale

Amalgam fillings have been widely used to restore teeth damaged by cavities or other fillings. However, over time these metal fillings can cause more harm than good to teeth, causing risk for sensitivity and damage that often requires more extensive care in order to regain health, function, and aesthetics. At our metal-free dental practice in Scottsdale, Dr. Michael Kelly and his team offer alternatives to traditional metal fillings with composite resin. For patients with existing metal fillings, our Scottsdale dentist offers comprehensive amalgam removal

What is an Amalgam Filling?

Also known as metal or silver fillings, amalgam fillings were traditionally used to restore teeth after treatment for cavities. Made of a mixture of various metals, the primary component in amalgam is mercury, which is intended to reinforce the strength of the fillings and helps to bind the other metals. 

The Problem with Amalgam Fillings

While highly durable, amalgam fillings can cause more damage to a tooth over time. As these fillings are mostly made of metal, they expand and contract when exposed to changing temperatures. This can cause cracks in enamel, weakening teeth and requiring further restorative care. In extreme cases, the tooth can become so badly damaged as a result of expanding amalgam that the entire tooth must be extracted and replaced with a dental implant or another tooth replacement solution.

By contracting and expanding, metal fillings also open the door for tooth infection. As the filling is not permanently bonded to the tooth, small gaps can be created as the filling changes size with exposure to hot and cold temperatures. Bacteria can then enter the inner pulp chamber through these spaces, infecting the tissue, root, and nerve of the tooth. If left untreated, infection can cause the development of a tooth abscess, which requires comprehensive root canal retreatment, abscess draining, and full tooth restoration

Alternatives to Amalgam: Amalgam Removal and Replacement

For patients seeking a metal-free treatment option, our Scottsdale dentist offers composite fillings as a more aesthetic and functional alternative. Made of resin or a porcelain-based mixture, composite fillings bond directly to the tooth, eliminating the risk of movement or eventual loosening. As composite fillings do not contain any metal, they do not expand when exposed to heat or cold, thus protecting the tooth from cracking. Furthermore, composite fillings are tooth-colored, allowing patients to improve their smile without the distinctive grayish color that comes with amalgam fillings. 

For patients with existing metal fillings, Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale also offers amalgam filling removal. This treatment allows patients regain a healthier smile in a safe environment. Additionally, the use of the Solea dental laser allows Dr. Kelly to conservatively remove the amalgam filling without anesthetic or extensive time spent in treatment in many cases.  

Once the amalgam filling has been safely removed, Dr. Kelly restores the tooth with non-metal restoration. Depending on the condition of the tooth, this can be as minimal as a bonded composite filling or more involved such as fabricating a ceramic cover to return proper support to the tooth. 

Schedule Your Consultation Today

At Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale, we believe that effective dental care requires comprehensive solutions. With amalgam filling removal, our team is able to help patients improve the health of their entire smiles, rather than just one part of it. For more information about the advantages of amalgam removal and composite fillings, contact our team today.