Dentist gave me an amalgam instead of a resin filling.

E

Esoteric

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Feb 28, 2014
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I went in to have two fillings today, one was on my furthest reaching molar on the upper right side.
The dental assistant and dentist had trouble getting a clamp on, they all kept sliding off, and then decided against using it and against using a dental dam. She asked me what type of filling I wanted as my mouth was pried open, I said 'white' and she said there was too much saliva back there and that she'd have to give me a silver filling and immediately started talking to the dental assistant without waiting for a reply.
I wanted to protest but I was extremely drained, my mouth was pried open and I was intimidated, I really regret not saying anything. I went home and read about amalgam fillings (sorry if my ignorance about them is frustrating, I'm young and somehow thought that mercury fillings were phased out and that 'silver' was different) and I burst into tears. I really don't want this filling and I already suffer from depression and anxiety and a mercury poisoning worry and it's longterm effects is just too much for me to handle. I smoke and chew gum and I've read that worsens the amount of mercury vapours released.
Does anyone have any advice on what I should do?
 
carole

carole

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Hi :welcome: to the forum.

I wouldn't worry about the filling it won't harm you, I have had these fillings for 40 odd years at least and I haven't come to any harm. The smoking will harm you more than any filling. Try not to worry it will be fine. I am not having a go at you being a smoker I am just giving you an example.

After saying that the dentist shouldn't have proceeded without you agreeing to the filling. Why ask you what you want then tell you. The white fillings aren't as long lasting as the silver ones and are harder for the dentist to do. The comment about the tooth not being dry enough doesn't make any difference because if she couldn't get the tooth dry then the silver filling won't stick either and could come out.

If the look of the filling is bothering you and you really want a white filling then contact the practice manager and complain saying what happened and that you would like the filling replacing.

The filling you have won't damage you in any way, so try not to worry :butterfly:
 
vicki

vicki

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Hi :)

Millions of people all over the world have amalgam fillings.

From the Colgate website: "Amalgam is a combination of metals that has been used in dentistry for more than 100 years. It is still commonly used today. Although it sometimes is called "silver amalgam," amalgam actually consists of a combination of metals. These include silver, mercury, tin and copper. Small amounts of zinc, indium or palladium also may be used."

Although there may be some mercury in the fillings, it is only a tiny amount. Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and we are all exposed to tiny amounts of mercury through air, drinking water, soil and food without any side effects or problems.

Mercury can cause a problem if we are exposed to high doses (much much higher than in a tiny filling) or there is prolonged/repeated exposure to high doses over a period of time and I think that's why there has been a lot of publicity over recent years about the mercury content in amalgam fillings. Also, there are a lot of dental practices that seem to have capitalised on this, by advertising white fillings as a replacement for "those unsightly amalgam fillings full of mercury" and I'm sure that this adds to the worry that amalgam fillings might cause health problems. Some people do choose to replace their amalgam fillings with white composite ones, but I think this is usually for cosmetic reasons rather than because they're worried about the amalgam.

However, according to what I have been told by several dentists over the years, the benefits of having an amalgam filling far outweigh the tiny (theoretical) risk from the mercury it may contain. From what I can make out, dentists are exposed to far higher levels of mercury than their patients, because they're working with it every day, but you don't hear about dentists keeling over from mercury poisoning :).

I've had numerous fillings over the past few years; some of them were composite (resin) fillings and some of them were amalgam. My own experience was that the amalgam fillings were more comfortable and lasted longer than the resin ones. The reason that I had amalgam fillings was because the teeth in question were all molars, so if I had wanted composite fillings I would've needed to pay privately (I was an NHS patient at the time), but also, the dentist advised amalgam rather than composite because it's more durable and that's important because of the biting forces your molars are exposed to when chewing.

Both of my parents also have a few amalgam fillings and they have had them for 30-40 years without any problems at all. Most of my molars (apart from my wisdom teeth) have had root canals and I will be having another root canal in a week or so, then after that, the molars will have crowns. However, if I hadn't had all the root canals and I needed fillings in any of my back teeth again, I think I'd probably have more confidence in an amalgam filling than a composite one (although I'd definitely want a composite one for any front teeth as they're visible :p).

It does seem strange that you were given a choice about the type of filling but then your dentist did amalgam fillings anyway, so I can understand that you're feeling upset. I would be upset too; especially if I thought that my dentist had ignored my wishes and had just gone ahead without discussing it with me first. Maybe it would put your mind at rest if you were to discuss this with your dentist?

You mentioned that they said there was too much saliva, that they had problems with the clamp and decided against using a dental dam. From what I know, composite fillings are more difficult to do than amalgam fillings and having a dry field increases the chances of success (which is why they probably wanted to use a dental dam). It might have been that your dentist decided that because they couldn't place the dam, that amalgam was a better and more reliable option for you, but I'm not a dentist, so I'm just guessing.

As Carole said, smoking will do you more harm than the fillings, especially as it can affect your gums. There are also far more harmful substances in each cigarette that you smoke (including cyanide, arsenic and carbon monoxide), than in those tiny fillings. I'm not having a go at you either, just trying to get you to see that smoking (which you are comfortable with) poses a far greater risk and contains more poisonous chemicals, than your fillings (which you don't seem to be comfortable with at the moment).

Try not to worry, I'm sure the fillings will be fine. If you're still worried about them, you could make an appointment to see your dentist as they will be able to explain why they used amalgam and give you the best advice for you :).
 
T

taha131

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Jun 19, 2014
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Hey

I am a dentist. I would not have resin restoration in my posterior (molars) teeth when given the choice of amalgam.

Amalgam is much stronger, longer lasting than resins. For a a resin you would probably have to replace it in some years.

There is controversy about amalgam vs composite resins in the dental community.

However, I made an account here just to tell you that your dentist made the right decision. :) so don't cry, it's actually better than the resins specially in the back teeth where you need a strength to chew

and don't worry about the mercury scare. Amalgams have been in use for years with better results than resins.
 
Z

zombiegroupie

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Mar 27, 2014
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I have an amalgam filling in one of my upper molars. It's still doing well and I think it's from my childhood. My other fillings are all resin (composite) whatever the white material is. They are failing with time and they're not even that old :( I'd rather have a long lasting metal one than have to deal with broken fillings in my big molars.

I hope you got it sorted :)
 
C

comfortdentist

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Jul 19, 2009
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Smoking releases mercury directly into your lungs along with a few other heavy metals besides so many other highly toxic compounds that the mercury in the amalgam won't have a chance to do any more harm.
As to your dentist you absolutely can't place a traditional composite into a moist environment as it won't bond so it would decay rather quickly. There are "white" fillings that can be used in a somewhat moist environment such as Activa.
 
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