Everything wears out; resin fillings are no exception. They have to endure an incredible amount of biting force, and as time passes, they will slowly wear out or break.
The edges of the filling pictured to the right are breaking away, and a space is opening up between the filling and the tooth. When this happens, the filling loses its seal and no longer protects the tooth from decay.
When a restoration is recommended to replace a worn-out filling, both the size of the filling and the amount of remaining tooth structure are considered.
When a worn-out filling is fairly small, like this one, you could safely replace it with another resin filling.
However, it will eventually wear out and have to be replaced again.
When a worn filling is larger, and less tooth structure remains, fractures can become a problem. In the example above, the yellow arrow points to where a large piece of the tooth broke away.
By switching to a gold or porcelain overlay or crown, we can strengthen the tooth and prevent the occurrence of problems such as this.
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