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Can you drill a golden filling?

L

lillyl

Junior member
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
4
My golden alloy filling has fallen out (it lasted 17 years) and has been re-cemented. After it was re-cemented, the dentist drilled into a gold filling to shave down a "high spot". Is that a common practice? I had another golden filling re-cemented in the past which was not drilled into. I was concerned about ruining the filling since it was cast and about breathing/swallowing the dust from the metal. I would appreciate any expertise greatly! Thank you!
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,983
Location
The Hague , Holland
Hi,

I understand your concern and if your dentist used water and suction you have nothing to worry about.
 
L

lillyl

Junior member
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
4
His dental assistant rinsed my mouth after the procedure, but water/suction were not used during the drilling. Is it a common practice to drill a gold filling or is it generally avoided? Thank you!
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
752
Location
UK
I've had a gold crown drilled a little bit on a couple of occasions to adjust the bite, no problem at all.
 
drhirst

drhirst

Super Moderator
Verified dentist
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
746
Location
Welwyn Garden City, UK
Hi,
As Dr Daniel says, there is nothing to worry about. No harm will have been done to the filling or yourself!
Lincoln
 
L

lillyl

Junior member
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
4
I am alarmed and worried because I am a breastfeeding mother and am concerned about passing heavy metal dust to my baby through breastmilk. Water/suction or rubber dam were not used during the drilling of the gold filling and unfortunately I did not voice my concern at the time.
 
C

comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,803
Location
Miami, Fl
Hi,
As Dr Daniel says, there is nothing to worry about. No harm will have been done to the filling or yourself!
Lincoln


I too agree no harm.
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
752
Location
UK
I've just been reading up about gold - it's very, very safe.

It's inert, reacts with almost nothing - I think that's one of the things that makes it a good material to use in dental restorations. Think about how it doesn't tarnish like silver does, and lots of people who are allergic to cheaper jewellery can wear real gold with no problems. You can even eat it - there are some drinks and chocolates that have real gold flakes in, just for showiness as far as I can tell! And it occurs naturally in the body - not counting your filling, you naturally have around 0.2 micrograms of gold in your body, mostly in your blood.

Honestly, you don't need to worry at all.
 
L

lillyl

Junior member
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
4
I've just been reading up about gold - it's very, very safe.

It's inert, reacts with almost nothing - I think that's one of the things that makes it a good material to use in dental restorations. Think about how it doesn't tarnish like silver does, and lots of people who are allergic to cheaper jewellery can wear real gold with no problems. You can even eat it - there are some drinks and chocolates that have real gold flakes in, just for showiness as far as I can tell! And it occurs naturally in the body - not counting your filling, you naturally have around 0.2 micrograms of gold in your body, mostly in your blood.

Honestly, you don't need to worry at all.

Thank you for your response! I thought that gold fillings were just gold, therefore safe. Turns out they are only 20-77% gold (depending on the brand) and the rest is combination of other metals like palladium, silver, tin, copper, indium, iridium, zinc, and platinum.
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
752
Location
UK
Thank you for your response! I thought that gold fillings were just gold, therefore safe. Turns out they are only 20-77% gold (depending on the brand) and the rest is combination of other metals like palladium, silver, tin, copper, indium, iridium, zinc, and platinum.

They are safe, really. You are fine.

They're not pure gold because pure gold is too soft to use, it would just lose it's shape and wear away very quickly - other metals are needed in alloy to make it hard enough. Gold is used as a main component because of it's properties of being very inert and biocompatible. And sometimes because it's pretty ;-)

I've just checked a list (source: wikipedia, which in turn list it's sources in detail) and every single one of those elements you list also occurs naturally in the body in small quantities. Copper and zinc are essential for health.

The amount of exposure you will have got from adjusting the bite in a gold alloy filling is tiny - really vanishingly small - dentists are careful to protect patients' health, if it posed a risk they wouldn't do it.



I know this stuff is scary and can feel very alien and threatening, but honestly, you are fine. It's safe.
 
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