When a tooth is filled, it is because it has suffered dental decay, erosion or a fracture. The processes always result in some loss of tooth structure.
Therefore, with each filling required and executed, the tooth does get a little bit weaker. When a filling in a tooth fails, there are times when it is best to repair the filling, knowing that the repair will conservatively and inexpensively extend the life of a filling without adding to risk of catastrophic failure.
In other situations, total replacement of the filling is indicated. We will always discuss with you the benefits of each alternative in helping arrive at the best outcome for your particular situation.
There are many different filling materials at the dentist’s disposal and they all have different benefits. We work with all of these options including: amalgam (silver based alloy), composite (plastic with ceramic fillers) and glass ionomer cement fillings.
Because these filling types have their respective strengths and weaknesses, we will discuss these benefits and shortcomings with you before a filling is placed so that we meet your preferred outcome.
Sometimes the choice is difficult and even controversial with different dentist giving different opinions. We ultimately will do what we would want done on our own tooth. So if that means that the choice is made to do nothing but simply to watch the lesion over time, then that is what we will do. We always prefer to not damage teeth if that is possible.