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FAQ:  Fillings


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Question:
Recurrent decay with new fillings: No matter how many times I get my teeth filled I still get cavities around the filling.

Is there another alternative to fillings that would work for me? ...Visitor from PA

Answer:
If you have dental decay present, it must be taken care of by a dentist to save your teeth. You did not say what type of restorations (fillings) you had placed or how long they were in before they decayed. Also, you did not mention if your diet contains a lot of sugar or acids (soda) or what your daily home care cleaning consists of.

If your dental fillings were done by a competent dentist they should give you many years of service. They will last much longer if you eat foods low in sugars, brush and floss daily, and see your dentist a few times a year for a professional cleaning and dental examinations.

When composite (tooth colored) bonded restorations are placed the bite is adjusted and the top and all exposed surfaces are polished smooth. One extra step to help prevent recurrent decay around the margins of your new bonded restoration is for the dentist to re-etch the surface of the polished composite and then place a few layers of clear bonding resin to seal all the surfaces of the bonded filling.

If you have had silver fillings placed in your teeth, the dentist can burnish or smooth the margins of the restoration where the silver meets the edges of your tooth. Burnishing a new Amalgam (silver) restoration helps prevent decay from creeping in the sides of the tooth.

Editorial Staff

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