Silver Fillings: Why replace them?


You know you have several silver fillings in your mouth. Should they be replaced?  Or, are your silver fillings ok?
Below is a visual tutorial of a silver filling being replaced.

Sliver filling replacement

The arrow points to a missing piece of tooth.

The tooth above doesn’t look all that bad; a small missing piece of tooth structure, the color of the tooth is a bit grey in some areas around the filling, and the filling is very tarnished. Neither you nor the dentist would even notice the missing tooth without using an intra-oral camera.
decay after removing the filling

Arrows point to decay inside the tooth after the filling has been removed.

The red arrow is pointing to the same area of the tooth. Notice that quite a bit of tooth structure has been removed where the broken tooth was located. Some decay still exists in this area. It will be removed before the final restoration is placed.

The blue arrow shows decay under the cusp. The tooth here was just a bit darker, more gray in color than the rest of the tooth. The decay was much larger than one would guess looking at the before photo.

The dark area above the arrow is decay coming in from the side of the tooth.

Decay must be removed including the area where the bacteria started its attack. Here the bacteria came from between the teeth. Remember, FLOSS, FLOSS, FLOSS. That is the only thing preventing the bacteria from entering between teeth.

Decay removed from the tooth.

Several millimeters of tooth structure had to be removed at both locations to find healthy structure for the filling to adhere to.

The infected tooth is removed.

Removal of the decay is complete. No further bacterial infection is present. The tooth is now thoroughly cleaned in preparation of placing the filling.

The final restoration.

The restoration is complete. The bite will be adjusted and a final polish placed.

Always brush and floss.


Dentistry has transformed in recent years. We’ll give you an experience that will change your mind about going to the dentist and even make you feel good about coming back.

Doug Larson

About Doug Larson

Doug Larson, DDS leads the team at The Smile Specialists in Campbell, California. The dental practice is a progressive cosmetic, restorative and preventative family dental practice. We provide our patients with the most comprehensive dentistry available in a comfortable state-of-the art facility, the planet can be proud of. Our services are designed to maintain the health of our patients’ teeth, improve their overall oral wellness and provide beautiful smiles. Our team works to empower patients with the knowledge necessary to make educated choices about their dental treatment options. We also understand that for many, a trip to the dentist can be a source of anxiety. We want to help you reduce that anxiety. Call and allow us to help. Dentistry has transformed in recent years. We’ll give you an experience that will change your mind about going to the dentist and even make you feel good about coming back.


  • Wyland M.
    Wyland M.

    Wow! What a great way cosmetic surgery has come. Although I hope I won’t need these services, I’m certainly glad that they are out there if I do. Very cool post.

  • dani

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

Leave a Comment

© 2015 Doug Larson DDS - All rights reserved   |   Powered by: LMU