It’s early morning. Squeezing toothpaste onto your brush, you stare into the bathroom mirror and open wide. Before raising your hand to your mouth to start cleaning, the unsightly black blotches on your second molars grab your attention once again.

You wince and continue brushing, wondering “Should I replace my black fillings?”

At Crossroads Dental Arts, we get asked this question all the time.

And the answer? Maybe.

Once we have performed a thorough exam, Dr. Rief or the hygienist will take intraoral photos of your “black fillings.” These fillings contain mercury that give them their dark color.

If there appears to be gray between the filling and the tooth, then there is expansion and contraction occurring, causing the filling to leak and new decay to form. In this case, Dr. Rief would recommend replacing the filling with a tooth-colored composite filling.

At Crossroads Dental Arts, we have seen fillings that were leaking and were not replaced in time turn into toothaches that require more extensive, more expensive treatment.

If your older filling is intact and not leaking, we do not recommend replacing it. Dental insurance will most likely cover a portion of the cost required to replace a filling or fillings as long as the procedure is not for cosmetic reasons.

If you have questions about the older “black” fillings in your mouth, call Crossroads today. We can advise you as to whether or not they should be replaced. Call 410-363-2121 to schedule an appointment.