Amalgam fillings are a thorny issue in dentistry. They have been used to fill holes in teeth for over a 100 years and it has to be said that they do fill holes very well. The problem is (a side from all the health concerns) that that is all they do. Amalgam fillings do not offer any strengthening to the damaged tooth and in fact often weaken teeth making them prone to fracture. A great many patients now want their metal fillings out on either health grounds or aesthetic reasons and I often recommend it where I see the tooth beginning to weaken around them. If we are going to remove an amalgam filling then we need to know that the replacement is going to be at least as strong and is going to protect the tooth from further damage.
This simple case shows how well direct composite restorations can be used to treat very heavily filled teeth at the back of the mouth. Conventional dental wisdom states that heavily filled teeth such as these should be restored with a crown. Often this is the case but conventional full coverage crowns involve removal of large amounts of sound tooth tissue so come at a high “biological cost” to the tooth. They also come at a higher “financial cost” because they require two visits and a technician needs to be paid to make the crown as well.
Direct fibre reinforced composites can be used on occasions as a one visit procedure which involves much less drilling to sound tooth tissue and do not require the services of a dental technician making them significantly cheaper both financially and biologically. The composite option may not last as long as the crown but as we see here they can last very well and the crown is always an option for later on in life, if it is needed.
If you are considering replacing fillings in this manner then please call us on 01580 752202 and we will be happy to discuss the various treatment options available to you.