This is a follow-up to my earlier post regarding the life of a tooth.  How many people do you know who’ve cracked a tooth.  Would you believe that most of them could have been prevented?This is the same tooth on the right and left.  The photo on the right looks like just a ordinary tooth with a white filling.  The photo on the left shows, after the removal of the filling, the extensive cracks that occurred because the tooth was weak.

Yes, that’s right.  You see, before a tooth breaks, it generally cracks.  Why does it crack?  It cracks because the tooth is weak.  A tooth becomes weakened after having a large filling placed.  A filling doesn’t strengthen a tooth, it simply fills up the hole.  If the filling is large, then the tooth is weak.  The weak tooth can’t hold up to the chewing pressure, so eventually it cracks then breaks.  Sometimes the crack will go deep into the tooth’s nerve.  If this happens it will infect the nerve and you’ll need a root canal too.
Doesn’t all this sound fun?  Nope.  In my teeth, I do everything I can to keep from getting large fillings.  This means GREAT brushing and flossing…. but there’s more.
Most adult cavities don’t occur in “new” places.  They usually occur around old fillings.  So in my teeth, I have had all my fillings upgraded from the old silver/mercury type to the new tooth-colored type.  My thoughts were to take out the old, BEFORE a cavity got underneath them, and replace them with the newest in high-tech fillings.  Then in another 10-20 years I’m going to do the same thing.
I will do whatever it takes to keep from having to drill the existing holes in my teeth any larger.  Because when the holes get too large, the teeth will be weakened, and will then eventually crack.
If you have old fillings, chances are they are leaking, and possibly forming a cavity.  Lots of our patients come in for a “filling upgrade.”  If you are interested, check out our web page devoted to this filling upgrade by clicking here.