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Do removals of amalgam fillings take longer than composites??

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sweatpea

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Joined
Dec 19, 2012
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26
I just had two composites done. The two teeth were next to each other and apparently the decay was underneath the original fillings, at the sides of the teeth. The teeth were close to the top back of the mouth. One had an amalgam filling in it, which was replaced with a composite and the other was a composite. I didn't time it, but I know I was in the chair for probably an hour or more. It was awful. He seemed to drill excessively and now I am still not eating on it at all. Do these drills work slowly and chip away little bits at a time. Im worried that most of my two teeth have been drilled away:scared:. I saw the decay on the x ray, it didn't look like much.
 
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Davee

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Mar 20, 2013
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Re: how fast do these drills work??? Do removals of amalgam fillings take longer than composites??

I can't answer to the speed of your dentist in replacing your filling as every case is different. I had two silver fillings break (teeth clenching) and were replaced by composite fillings. They took about 20 minutes each but I think since these were my twelve year molars and I had them filled at age 12 that the cavities at the time were very shallow. There was no decay underneath the fillings, I just broke them by my clenching. I think it is awesome that they lasted over 30 years.

With that said it has taken almost a month for these fillings to lose their sensitivity. At first they were sensitive every day, and now they feel almost normal. For example I ate a piece of candy a few weeks ago and they screamed! A few days ago I ate peanut brittle on them and they were fine. Today they felt senstive for about an hour for no reason. Then I ate my dinner and they were once again OK.

For me (and I obsess over my teeth) I am just believing that the fillings are fixed and everything is OK until proven not. I have looked at them with a magnifying glass and flashlight and they are intact. So I must believe they are OK. This thinking has enabled me to get through the month and find that they are losing their sensitivity. I hope this helps. It is quite a difference when you change from silver to composite fillings.
 
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sweatpea

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
26
Re: how fast do these drills work??? Do removals of amalgam fillings take longer than composites??

I dont know if I have sensitivity in them but mine feel like very big fillings and unnatural.:hmm: Thanks for your views.
 
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inpain76

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Mar 20, 2013
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32
I had 2 composite in my eye teeth done on monday and they're fine.
 
Steve In Cleveland

Steve In Cleveland

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Although it feels like the dentist's drill must be gouging away huge parts of your tooth, the reality is that most of the time the dentist is barely touching your tooth with the drill. Imagine you were trying to remove the paint from a delicate piece of furniture. (This mental image has helped me a lot with dealing with the drill. I remind myself that she's barely applying any pressure at all...)

Because of the variability of the size and speeds of various bits, it's almost impossible to tell "how much tooth" the dentist is removing based on how much time the drill is running. There's also a lot of precision work that takes lots of time but doesn't really remove much dental matter. In my experience, having amalgam removed takes a long time-- I think it's hard on the drill and also they tend to use lots of water.

If you're interested, you can ask to see the x-rays, and your dentist can show you. But really you probably won't understand; it'll just look like a white spot on the x-ray. A more interesting question would be to ask how strong the remaining tooth is, and if there's any chance of needing a crown or additional restorative work later. The crown of a tooth is pretty resilient and can usually withstand a pretty big filling without adverse effects.

As for the "fat tooth" feeling, give it a couple of days. Your tongue can be pretty sensitive to new things showing up, and will usually stop noticing within a few days. If you still feel like your bite is off or something is rubbing against something else, the dentist should be able to make a quick adjustment to the filling to correct. For fillings on the biting surface of the tooth, this is pretty common.
 
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