This patient initially came in looking for a more cosmetic option to replace their silver (amalgam) fillings. After a comprehensive exam and evaluation we discovered decay under several of the silver fillings, but not all. Silver (amalgam) fillings can be an excellent treatment option and last a very long time, but replacing them simply because they are not tooth colored is not something we typically do. We know all fillings eventually need replacement, so we encourage getting the most out of the existing fillings if possible.
For this patient, we discussed the pros and cons of replacing all three silver fillings and decided together to replace the two that showed signs of decay, leaving the molar alone since it is not visible in the smile. We used a green latex-free rubber dam to isolate the teeth and allow us to provide the highest level of care and longest lasting restorations possible. The rubber dam also protects the lips, cheeks, and gums, while limiting the exposure to the patient and ourselves from dangerous aerosols. After removing the silver fillings, we discovered a significant amount of soft brown decay which we removed. Once the decay was removed we used tooth colored filling material to recreate natural contours. The natural appearing teeth will functional well and be easily cleansable without catching food.
These fillings should last the patient many years with good home care and routine checkups.