Replacement of Old Amalgam with Non-Mercury Options
By Mina Levi, DDS, 09/25/2014

Years ago, the main protocol for dental fillings and restorations was to use amalgam or silver-colored filling material that contains mercury. These amalgam fillings not only contain mercury that can be harmful to the body, but they also expand at a much faster rate than the tooth and cause fracturing and can harbor decay underneath the filling. Today, the better option is to restore the teeth with metal-free options such as composite tooth-colored fillings or porcelain. However, many people have already had amalgam fillings placed that will need to be replaced. 

26 year old female C.R. presented to Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS with a large existing amalgam filling on a back molar. This tooth had multiple fracture lines and decay under and around the silver filling. After examination, Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS decided that the best way to replace and restore this filling is with a ¾ porcelain crown. The porcelain was a better fit than composite in this case because the decay and fracturing was large and the porcelain will hold stronger and last longer than composite. If an amalgam replacement is small enough and there is not significant damage to the tooth structure, then composite material can be placed instead of porcelain.
Amalgam Mercury filling

Dr. Mina Levi removed the old amalgam filling according to the protocol outlined by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. She then cleaned the decay and took an impression for the laboratory to fabricate the final porcelain restoration. A temporary filling was placed and the patient came back two weeks later to cement the final ¾ porcelain crown.

Porcelain Crown San Francisco

If you have any old amalgam fillings that need to be replaced with porcelain or with composite tooth colored fillings, visit Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi DDS on the web at or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.