Colgate Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center

Innovative toothpastes to clean and brighten every type of smile.

Toothpastes

A toothbrush for every type of smile, designed with comfort and results in mind.

Toothbrushes

Colgate kids' products make brushing fun and encourage routine use.

Kids' Products

Oral care products available exclusively through dental professionals.

Products From the Dentist

Professional grade oral care, available without a prescription.

Other Oral Care

Every smile is unique and requires a different type of care. Colgate has a solution for every smile.

Search by Benefit
Font size

Dental fillings: Should metal fillings be replaced with composite?

That depends on the reason for your dentist's recommendation.

If your metal dental fillings are defective or show decay, it's important to replace them. Untreated decay may eventually lead to an infection (abscess). In some cases, replacing metal dental fillings may benefit the long-term health of the tooth.

Generally, replacing metal dental fillings for aesthetic reasons should only be done after careful consideration and if your dentist feels it will not compromise the long-term health of the tooth. Likewise, there's no need to replace metal dental fillings because of concerns about mercury in the fillings.

Most metal dental fillings are dental amalgam — a stable alloy made with mercury, silver, tin, copper and possibly other metals. Although concerns have been raised over the years about the safety of mercury in dental amalgam, researchers have proved the concerns to be unfounded. The American Dental Association supports the use of dental amalgam as a safe, reliable and effective treatment for dental decay.

If you're unsure whether you need to replace your metal dental fillings, ask your dentist to explain the options and help you understand what's best in your case.

©1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use.

2/3/2014

Related Articles

See Also:

Related Videos

How to Brush

How to Brush

Learn the technique recommended for the best cleaning.

Related Guides

Good Oral Health at Every Age

Good Oral Health at Every Age

A guide to your child's dental development, from birth to 18.

Related Products

Oral & Dental Care and Conditions Categories

ColgatePalmolive.com  |  Colgate.com  |  Legal/Privacy  |  Colgate.com Site Map  |  Contact Us
© Colgate-Palmolive Company. All rights reserved.
You are viewing the United States site.