There are many reasons Dr. Stephanie Loller would recommend replacing old fillings. The old silver fillings of your youth may be doing more harm than good!
Metal amalgam fillings are made of a mix of different metals, the main ones being silver, tin, and mercury. Mercury, as you probably are aware, is a toxic material. For a long time, it was believed that once the filling was "set," that no mercury leaked out, but more recent findings show that some mercury does leak out over time. It is not believed that this is usually a high enough dose for it to do any harm, but it's still not good to have it in your system.
If you think back to your high school science class, mercury was used in thermometers, because it expands and contracts with changes in temperature. Over many years of hot coffee and ice cream, this can cause cracks in the teeth from the expansion in the filling. Cracks can extend further and further until one day when you are innocently eating your lunch, a big chunk of your tooth can fall off!
Last but not least, cosmetically, the newer composite tooth-colored restorations are much better looking. Composite fillings are also "bonded" to the tooth, so there is no leakage of bacteria or saliva under the filling.
If you have old fillings in your mouth that you'd like replaced, give our office a call and we would be happy to schedule a consultation for you or you can ask at your next regular cleaning appointment.