Silver fillings are made of amalgam, which contains lead. Amalgam was once widely thought to be the best material to repair teeth. However, in recent years most dentists have begun using tooth colored composite material for fillings. Natural teeth expand and contract with temperature changes, for instance when drinking a hot or cold drink. Amalgam does not expand or contract, thus can cause micro-fractures in the amalgam-filled tooth.
These fractures can grow and become sites for bacteria to enter the tooth and cause decay. Due to the lead content and the potential tooth damage that amalgam can cause, many people opt to remove their amalgam fillings and replace them with composite fillings or porcelain crowns.
Each person’s situation is unique; we recommend that you discuss amalgam removal with your dentist before deciding.