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Removal of amalgam fillings and replacement with white...

(22 Posts)
Vonnegut Fri 01-Mar-13 12:08:18


I'm wondering if anyone has any experience of having amalgam fillings removed? I've had a low-level anxiety about toxic metals in my mouth for ages, and I've just been told by my dentist today that I have to have another filling imminently. I'm now thinking that I might be better biting (ahem...) the bullet and having all my fillings changed to white, but I'm worried about risk, pain, cost etc etc etc.

It would be good to hear some personal experiences, if anyone has any?


homebythesea Fri 01-Mar-13 12:45:32

I've had a few removed and replaced. It's not a pleasant experience as they have to use a rubber sheet thing in your mouth to catch the mercury. And you do run the risk of breaking the tooth if it is a massive 1970's style filling! But cosmetically it looks great . Expect to pay £200-£300 per tooth

MrsMorton Fri 01-Mar-13 14:05:11

The most mercury a filling will ever release is released when it is removed. The amount of mercury is tiny (insignificant compared to that in a portion of tuna every week for a year) so if that's your main driver for treatment then I wouldn't bother.

If it's cosmetic then fair enough, bear in mind that each "intervention" a tooth has will increase the chance of having problems with it (that may necessitate root canal treatment/extraction). In some areas, particularly deep fillings that go in between teeth, it's very very difficult to do a good white filling but it may be that a good silver filling can be easily done. Your dentist should discuss this with you.

Finally, it's important to make sure that you aren't needing more new work (rather than repairs) before you embark on a cosmetic plan. You wouldn't put a roof on a burning house so everything else including gums etc must be healthy before hand.


Rosa Fri 01-Mar-13 14:07:18

My dentist ( and he is not NHS) basically said if they are not visible best leave them alone until the tooth needs more work and you could be asking for trouble.

squiddle Fri 01-Mar-13 14:08:40

I am leaving mine on the advice of my dentist, and will switch to white as and when they need replacing. I have had new white ones whenever i have had a filling over the past 15 years but those metal ones just last and last. I hate having work done now, so just couldn't handle doing it for cosmetic reasons. I would certainly not have more than a couple done at any one time - it is too traumatic.

CryptoFascist Fri 01-Mar-13 14:11:55

I had my one filling replaced with white composite. Cost about £50 as a fee-paying NHS patient. I did feel a bit yuck for a couple of days afterwards, probably from the mercury being released, as previous posters have mentioned. My tooth looks good and I have no regrets about having it done.

MrsMorton Fri 01-Mar-13 14:54:39

Symptoms of acute mercury poisoning appear in a few minutes to a half hour and include a metallic taste in the mouth, thirst, nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bloody diarrhoea, and kidney failure that may result in death.
crypto that must have been one heck of a filling... Considering the amount of mercury released when a filling is done doesnt even register on a mercury ometer, I think that saying you probably felt I'll because if the mercury released is a little OTT. Mercury, unless it's inhaled will generally pass straight through you. If it is in a vapour (not an aerosol such as is generated at the dentist) then it is readily absorbed.

HowAboutAHotCupOfShutTheHellUp Fri 01-Mar-13 16:35:02

I had my mercury fillings replaced with white fillings for cosmetic reasons. What followed was weeks of excruciating toothache and then ongoing painful and expensive dental treatment and three, yes three, separate root canals where the dentist could not find the root (excuse the pun) of the problem, as the pain was secondary. Utter hell, hugely expensive and actually the original fillings were barely noticeable. I would leave well alone.

Theweek Fri 01-Mar-13 16:39:22

MrsMorton is a sensible lady!
White fillings don't last as long as silver despite 'looking better'
There may be better cosmetic options such as porcelain inlays that will last longer but prob don't have the longevity of amalgam.
Quite right to warn you of risk of symptomless tooth giving trouble once drilled again.
Make sure you have all the options in front of you so you can make an informed decision.

MmeLindor Fri 01-Mar-13 20:28:36

Can I hijack very quickly to ask about NHS treatment for kids? We have recently returned from living abroad, where ceramic fillings are the norm now. The kids noted that their friends in school have amalgam fillings and said if they have more fillings, then they wanted white ones again. I presume we would have to pay for this? Does NHS only pay for amalgam?

MrsMorton Fri 01-Mar-13 22:03:57

No, it depends on what your dentist deems clinically necessary. I'll put more in the morning.

MrsMorton Sat 02-Mar-13 09:25:28

Sorry, DH doesn't let me on the computer in the evenings... sad

If it's a favourable hole, ie not too big and in the right place then your dentist can put white filling in on the NHS so should be free. This is in England. I'm not sure about the rest of the UK.

MmeLindor Sat 02-Mar-13 10:08:32

Thanks for the reply. DH gets humphy with me using PC in the evening too

We are in Scotland so not sure if different here. Maybe won't be necessary for a while anyway.

valiumredhead Sat 02-Mar-13 13:40:12

rosa mine said the same.

ggirl Sat 02-Mar-13 13:47:08

I am gradually having all my amalgam fillings replaced for cosmetic and I think cos they needed replacing , I am on denplan so pay a lot anyway.
I haven't had any real problems associated with the procedure.Never even thought about the risks of the mercury during the procedure.

Mind you I recall playing with mercury as a child shock

littledolly Sat 02-Mar-13 22:15:06

My amalgam filling broke a few months ago and I decided to replace with white as it was a bottom tooth. It's been nothing since pain ever since. I got the first filling done and I was in agony every time something touched it. The dentist told me that some patients can experience this when the filling is changed - something to do with whatever is in the white filling.
I had it taken out and had a temporary one in for a few weeks to help it settle. Got another filling back in a few weeks ago and same thing again. The next step is to go back and try the ugly black filling again. I'm not good at the dentist anyway, so this has been a nightmare for me!
My dentist charges £50 for a white filling, and I'm NHS. Luckily for me, I've only had to pay for the initial filling, despite all these visits and treatments.

CryptoFascist Sat 02-Mar-13 22:55:36

grin probably coincidental then MrsMorton! It does look better now, happier without a lump of mercury in my gob too.

acsec Sat 02-Mar-13 23:02:17

I find my white fillings have made my teeth very sensitive and I often get pain for no apparent reason. I paid extra for white fillings because they would look better but I wish I'd just stuck with amalgam. I had one tooth re-opened after having a white filling as it was so painful, they found nothing and refilled with amalgam and it's been better, though not perfect, since.

ceeveebee Sat 02-Mar-13 23:16:47

I had one replaced a few months ago, it needed replacing anyway as was starting to come away, so I went for white as its the only silver filling I had. From memory I think I paid about £200 or maybe about less

Vonnegut Sun 03-Mar-13 17:45:45

God, I wish I'd taken better care of my teeth when I was younger... sad

I think that the general consensus then is that a programme of replacement is probably not a good idea, unless there's a very strong argument for having it done. The thought of toothache brings me out in hives - I've only ever had it once and it was a thoroughly awful experience. I think if white fillings tend to give increased sensitivity and/or problems, then I'll probably steer away from them.

Thanks for sharing your stories.


arlenelm Mon 09-Jun-14 12:51:45

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

bellaroonie Tue 10-May-16 10:33:46

I am having fillings replaced. Advised to take high dose of vit C and Zinc before treatment which will help with expulsion of heavy metals from the body.

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