How to Care for Silver Fillings

Silver fillings have been the norm when it comes to taking care of cavities for over a century. Cavities are holes that form on the surface of teeth due to tooth decay. Teeth are continually being exposed to acids in the things a person consumes and that are produced by the bacteria that live in the mouth. These bacteria feed on food particles and sugars left over in the mouth and they excrete acids.

This constant exposure to acids can leave teeth damaged if the person does not practice good oral hygiene. Teeth enamel becomes worn out, and holes begin to appear on teeth surfaces.

Silver fillings can be used to fill up these holes that are created by cavities and restore the function of the tooth. Filling up the cavities prevents food particles and acids from getting into it and causing further damage.

While fillings can be used to stop tooth decay in its tracks, they only last about ten years if properly maintained. However, they last a lot less longer when the patient fails to take proper care of them.

Why silver fillings are important

Tooth decay can spread past the enamel and dentin when left untreated. It can also make its way into the pulp chamber. This area contains the nerve and blood vessels of each tooth, and it is prone to infections when exposed to the food particles, bacteria, and acids that are found in the mouth.

When the pulp chamber has been compromised, a root canal procedure is often required to save the tooth. If the tooth has a severe infection that has reached the roots, an extraction may be performed. The extracted tooth is then replaced with a dental implant.

It is a lot cheaper to get a filling than to get a root canal or an implant.

Before the filling is applied to a tooth, the dentist will remove all the decayed material around the area. The material is then molded to restore the tooth's proper shape, so it can be used to chew food.

What are silver fillings made from?

Also known as amalgam fillings, silver fillings are a combination of different metals like silver and mercury. It is the cheapest type of filling a person can get, and it lasts the longest. However, its popularity has decreased in recent years as an increasing number of patients opt for composite resin fillings.

Taking care of silver fillings

Taking good care of a tooth that has been restored with a silver filling is no different than taking care of a healthy tooth. Patients should:

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss once a day
  • Limit their consumption of sugar
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash
  • Avoid using tobacco products
  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Avoid biting hard things

Regular visits to the dentist's office also go a long way when it comes to preserving fillings. Patients should see the dentist at least twice each year.

Have any more questions or concerns about your silver filling? Contact us to schedule your next dental appointment!

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