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How long do amalgam fillings last?

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Poppy1234

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I had 3 done at the same time when I was very young. They are 34 years old now, and I feel they are wearing very thin and feel unpleasant to put my tongue on as they are so thin.
As usual my dentist dismisses my concerns and says they are fine.
But they can't last forever.
Doesn't it make more sense to get them re-done before they fall out, or start cracking and allowing bacteria in, causing problems?

I'm away from home a lot and am expecting them to fall out any time, when I won't be able to get to a dentist.
Can't I request they are re-done?
I'm about to go to a new dentist as I can't ask my current one anything. There is never time. I come armed with questions, but he says there's no time as he only has 5 mins to look at teeth.
So this forum is great. I've never been able to ask stuff before, so thanks! ;)
 
Gordon

Gordon

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I've got amalgams that are 40 yrs old. I expect them to last me the rest of my life.
 
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Poppy1234

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Hope mine do too then!
Though they feel horrid and have started tasting "silvery" and feel thin....
 
biffo1963

biffo1963

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I'm away from home a lot and am expecting them to fall out any time, when I won't be able to get to a dentist.
Can't I request they are re-done?
I'm about to go to a new dentist as I can't ask my current one anything. There is never time. I come armed with questions, but he says there's no time as he only has 5 mins to look at teeth.
So this forum is great. I've never been able to ask stuff before, so thanks! ;)
Yes of course you can ask for them to be re-done, so long as you're prepared to pay for it. You won't get them re-done on the NHS though unless it is "clinically necessary."

Having said that, you should still run away from this dentist very rapidly indeed - if he refuses to answer your questions then how can you possibly know whether he is giving you the right treatment when you need it ? Oh, and make absolutely sure that he and his practise know WHY you are leaving them. Sorry, but guys with attitudes like that need to be in a different profession ! :mad:
 
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Poppy1234

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Yes of course you can ask for them to be re-done, so long as you're prepared to pay for it. You won't get them re-done on the NHS though unless it is "clinically necessary."

Having said that, you should still run away from this dentist very rapidly indeed - if he refuses to answer your questions then how can you possibly know whether he is giving you the right treatment when you need it ? Oh, and make absolutely sure that he and his practise know WHY you are leaving them. Sorry, but guys with attitudes like that need to be in a different profession ! :mad:
Hi Biffo,
He only gives you about 10 mins for a check up, and as there's no hygenist, he has to clean them in that time too.
I have only just taken a real interest in all this, as I have only just realised how much things have changed in modern dentistry, but there just isn't time to ask all my questions!

He just makes me feel like I'm annnoying him by asking all kinds of stuff!
But I'm interested, and they are MY teeth!!
Anyway, I've got anther dentist. But there still isn't much time to ask anything with any NHS dentist......:cry:
 
brit

brit

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I, like Gordon, have some very old amalgams but I've also had a couple which 'have blown' on me and been replaced. The thing to do is ensure you are replacing for the right reasons as there is a small risk of adversely affecting the nerve in a tooth (and then needing say a root canal) everytime you 'insult' (I.e. drill into) the tooth.
If you do opt to replace with composite, it is very technique sensitive so not a good idea to allow 'just any dentist' to do it. A cheaply done composite is very nasty-looking indeed...whereas it is easy for almost any dentist to do a decent amalgam.

You could just leave them for now but promise yourself at the first sign of any trouble - sweet/hot/cold sensitivity - you will immediately take action.

An x-ray can also show decay getting in under an old amalgam filling...I had a couple where this supposedly happened as well but had those replaced with amalgam again instead of composite.
 
biffo1963

biffo1963

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Hi Biffo,
He only gives you about 10 mins for a check up, and as there's no hygenist, he has to clean them in that time too.
I have only just taken a real interest in all this, as I have only just realised how much things have changed in modern dentistry, but there just isn't time to ask all my questions!

He just makes me feel like I'm annnoying him by asking all kinds of stuff!
But I'm interested, and they are MY teeth!!
Anyway, I've got anther dentist. But there still isn't much time to ask anything with any NHS dentist......:cry:
My dentist had that problem for a while, i.e. doing all the cleanings himself instead of sending the patient to the hygienist. Then when the NHS contracts changed a few years ago, the practise solved the problem by abandoning cleanings completely !

Anyway, you keep on asking questions - as you say they're your teeth, and you're still paying to have them treated even if you are only paying a part of the total cost.

John
 
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Poppy1234

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I would love to be rich enough to have all 5 tiny silver fillings replaced with white ones. But I'd worry they wouldn't be strong enough as they are all on molars.
I guess they get a good hammering and need a strong filling.

As they are all such tiny fillings, would replacing them really cause problems with the nerve??
I understand a bit of extra tooth would have to come out, along with the old filling, but I'd hope this wouldn't touch the nerve...
None of my fillings have ever gone near a nerve, and I never had trouble with any tooth beforehand. (In fact, it's only having small fillings that has given me pain for many months afterwards, never before....)
 
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Poppy1234

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Thing is.....I plan to live to at LEAST age 90! Which will mean my fillings will have to last 81 years.... Now that clearly won't happen. They can't last that long.
So wouldn't it make sense to have them replaced NOW, rather than wait for problems with them??

After all, they will surely have to be replaced sooner or later, as I had them at such a young age and plan to live a long long time!

I just like prevention. I'd rather not have problems with them and get them replaced now.
They feel horrid, are wearing thin, & are ultra sensitive, and I'd like them replaced.
Just can't see the sense in waiting for them to get cracked, etc, allowing bacteria in and causing problems.

It's like when my mum needed a hip replacement. She knew she needed one at some point, but chose to hobble round for years and wait until it was so bad she couldn't walk.
Personally, I'd have got a new hip sooner rather than later. It needed doing at some point, so why wait until you're in agony??
 
Gordon

Gordon

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Well in your Mum's case, artificial hips only last a finite amount of time before they wear out. They also can only be replaced once or twice, so if she had it done too soon then she'd be in a wheelchair before she died.

Amalgam fillings can last for decades. Since you apparently have a low decay rate and keep an eye on your mouth, then I would expect them to last you until you're 91.
 
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Poppy1234

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Well in your Mum's case, artificial hips only last a finite amount of time before they wear out. They also can only be replaced once or twice, so if she had it done too soon then she'd be in a wheelchair before she died.

Amalgam fillings can last for decades. Since you apparently have a low decay rate and keep an eye on your mouth, then I would expect them to last you until you're 91.
She had no hip joint left, so had no choice in the end!

Oh that's good! I never thought they would last 80 years! Just been to my new dentist today and he said the three 35 year old fillings were fine, though they don't feel it!!
Thanks. x
 
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