How to Replace Old Metal Fillings with Tooth Colored Composites a Guide from a Boise Cosmetic Dentist

July 09, 2024, Elvebak Orthodontics

Boise Cosmetic Dentist | Modern Dental
Boise Cosmetic Dentist | Modern Dental
In this article, we'll explore the benefits of tooth-colored composites, the process of replacing metal fillings, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

As a Boise cosmetic dentist at Modern Dental, I've seen firsthand how replacing old metal fillings with tooth-colored composites can transform a patient's smile. Take the case of Sarah, a 42-year-old professional who had been self-conscious about her discolored metal fillings for years. After consulting with me, she decided to make the switch, and the results were nothing short of remarkable. Her teeth looked brighter and more natural, and the difference in her confidence was palpable.

If you're considering replacing your metal fillings, you're not alone. In recent years, this procedure has become increasingly common as patients seek a more aesthetically pleasing and durable alternative. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of tooth-colored composites, the process of replacing metal fillings, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Here are some relevant statistics related to replacing metal fillings with tooth-colored composites:

Composite fillings can last anywhere from 7 to 10 years before needing to be replaced, depending on factors such as oral hygiene, diet, and grinding habits.

Composite fillings may cost slightly more than metal fillings, around $15-30 more per filling, but the difference is often minimal, and the long-term benefits can outweigh the initial cost.

In the past, metal fillings were the only choice for treating cavities, however, nowadays patients can choose more aesthetically pleasing tooth-colored composite fillings.

Composite fillings bond to the tooth structure, strengthening it. In contrast, metal fillings require more tooth removal, weakening the tooth.

Metal fillings are not bonded to the tooth structure, so over time, saliva, food, and bacteria can creep down the margin of the filling into the tooth and set up tooth decay.

Even small metal fillings can lead to fractures all around the teeth. Composite fillings allow dentists to be more conservative with tooth removal and the bonding makes the tooth stronger.

The Benefits of Tooth-Colored Composites

Metal fillings, also known as amalgam fillings, have been the standard for decades. However, advances in dental technology have introduced a more attractive and functional option: tooth-colored composites. Here are some of the key benefits of choosing composites:

Aesthetic Appearance: Composites are designed to blend seamlessly with the natural color of your teeth, providing a more natural and attractive look.

Durability: Modern composite fillings are highly durable and can last for many years with proper care.

Tooth Preservation: Composites require less removal of healthy tooth structure, helping to preserve the integrity of your natural teeth.

Mercury-Free: Unlike amalgam fillings, composites do not contain any mercury, which can be a concern for some patients.

The Process of Replacing Metal Fillings

If you've decided to replace your metal fillings with composites, the process is relatively straightforward. Here's what you can expect

Consultation: Your Boise cosmetic dentist at Modern Dental will examine your existing fillings and discuss the best course of action. They will additionally provide a detailed explanation of the process and address any inquiries you might have.

Preparation: The metal filling will be carefully removed, and the tooth will be cleaned and prepared for the new composite restoration.

Placement: The composite material will be applied in layers and sculpted to match the natural shape of your tooth.

Curing: The composite will be hardened using a special light, ensuring a strong and durable bond.

Polishing: The final step is to polish the composite filling, giving it a smooth and natural-looking finish.

Here are two real-life examples of replacing metal fillings with tooth-colored composites:

Example 1: Sarah's Transformation

Sarah, a 42-year-old marketing executive, had been self-conscious about her discolored metal fillings for years. She had always been diligent about her oral hygiene, but the fillings still stood out. After consulting with Dr. Emily Nguyen at Modern Dental in Boise, Sarah decided to replace her metal fillings with tooth-colored composites. The procedure took about two hours, and she was thrilled with the results. Her new fillings blended seamlessly with her natural teeth, giving her a more youthful and radiant smile. Sarah reported feeling more confident and comfortable with her new smile, which had a significant impact on her professional and personal life.

Example 2: John's Health Concerns

John, a 35-year-old software engineer, had been experiencing tooth sensitivity and discomfort due to his old metal fillings. He had noticed that the fillings were becoming loose and had developed new decay around them. After consulting with Dr. Tompkins at Tompkins Dental, John decided to replace his metal fillings with composite ones. The procedure took about an hour, and John was relieved to find that his sensitivity and discomfort significantly improved. He also appreciated the natural appearance of his new fillings, which blended perfectly with his natural teeth. John reported feeling more at ease with his new fillings and appreciated the peace of mind that came with knowing they were safer and more durable than his old metal fillings

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long do composite fillings last?
Composite fillings can last anywhere from 7 to 10 years, depending on factors such as oral hygiene, diet, and grinding habits.

2. Are composite fillings more expensive than metal fillings?
Composite fillings may cost slightly more than metal fillings, but the difference is often minimal, and the long-term benefits can outweigh the initial cost.

3. Will I experience any sensitivity after the procedure?
Some patients may experience temporary sensitivity after the procedure, but this typically subsides within a few weeks.

4. Can all metal fillings be replaced with composites?
In most cases, yes. However, the size and location of the filling may impact the suitability of a composite replacement. At ModernDental, the cosmetic dentist in Boise will assess your requirements.

5. How do I care for my new composite fillings?
Caring for composite fillings involves similar maintenance to that of natural teeth. Brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

6. Are composite fillings safe?
Yes, composite fillings are safe and have been extensively studied and used in dentistry for decades. They do not contain any mercury or other harmful substances.

7. Can I get my metal fillings replaced at Modern Dental in Boise?
Absolutely! Our team of experienced Boise cosmetic dentists is well-equipped to help you replace your old metal fillings with beautiful, long-lasting composite restorations. We use the latest techniques and materials to ensure a seamless and comfortable experience.

Expert Insight

"Replacing metal fillings with tooth-colored composites is a game-changer for many patients. Not only does it improve the appearance of their smile, but it also helps preserve the integrity of their natural teeth. At Modern Dental in Boise, we're proud to offer this transformative service to our patients." - Dr. Royce, Boise Cosmetic Dentist


If you're ready to say goodbye to your old metal fillings and hello to a brighter, more natural-looking smile, consider replacing them with tooth-colored composites. With the help of a skilled Boise cosmetic dentist at Modern Dental, you can enjoy the many benefits of this innovative dental solution. Schedule a consultation today and take the first step towards a smile you'll love.

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