We have been seeing many problems with the metal fillings these days. One of the biggest complains are that the fillings got sensitive or sections of the tooth just broke off, without the patient experiencing any pain. In earlier years, dentists didn’t see a need to do anything, at least when no decay was present. Today we often still hear: “My metal fillings are lasting very well”, but in reality the supporting tooth is badly damaged or cracked. These teeth often break while eating pudding, bread or a patient treated the other day had cracked it on one M and M.
After careful removal of these old metal fillings, big cracks are often seen in the remaining tooth structure indicating areas of high stress. Some teeth are badly discolored teeth after removal of the old metal filling. Many cracks are also present under high magnification
due to the expansion and shrinkage of metal over time.
Many times these areas are just filled in again using white resin. This time a white filling is used to bond the tooth together. In the presence of cracks under the new filling, pain still exists. Drinking hot or cold drinks (temperature difference) or biting down would result in movement of these cracks and therefore more pain.
Dentists that use ceramic fillings know that these cracks must be removed before a new
filling is placed.
All cracks and crack lines are removed and any blue staining from previous metal
fillings are cleaned out.
The new ceramic filling needs a new solid foundation where no movement takes place.
A new life is given to the tooth. With ceramic there is no blue staining, no more cracks, and white healthy new look.
So remember, next time you replace your metal fillings or have to get a big restoration,
insist on ceramic, at our office we just do this as part of our protocol.
Noel Jackson, DDS