Q: I was surprised when my new dentists told me some white fillings on my back molars that I had done only five years ago needed to be replaced. Why would this be?
A: I am sure many of us foreign car owners have been dealt with this scenario after the dreaded CEL, Check Engine Light, shows its face.
A recent article in the February Clinicians Report explains why:
• Large white fillings, also referred to as tooth bonding or composite resin fillings, have three times the failure rate when used on back molars vs. front teeth.
• 73% of dentists state decay forming underneath the filings from leakage is the cause of failure.
• The failure rate goes up the more surfaces are filled.
• The more existing fillings a patient has in the mouth, the higher the failure rate due to an increased in caries (dental decay) risk.
• The larger the volume of the filling material used, the likelihood of failure.
Other Factors which contribute to failure:
• Shrinkage of the material which opens gaps for leakage
• Saliva contamination
• Bacteria coating the surfaces underneath the fillings
• Patients who clench and grind
• A layer called the “smear layer” that obstructs the penetration of the composite resin, preventing a quality seal.
Alternatives” Porcelain inlays and crowns fabricated in dental labs using digital no-goop impressions; amalgam, Gold inlays and crowns in non-esthetic area.