Finding out that you have a cavity is not the end of the world, actually it’s a very common experience. To repair a cavity, we remove the decay in the tooth and replace it with a filling. This is a material that will fill the exposed tooth and protect it from further decay.

However, there is a difference between a small filling and a large one and you should be aware of the dangers of getting a large filling.

Why Size Matters

Any kind of a filling involves removing the decay that has affected the tooth. This can cause weakening of the tooth. Small fillings are not a concern in this area, however, the larger the filling, the weaker the structure of the tooth becomes.

Removing a significant amount of decay and replacing it with a simple filling can weaken your tooth setting you up for greater damage and decay later on. Any sized filling can compromise the integrity of the structure of your tooth, but the larger the filling, the bigger the compromise.

Because a large filling compromises the integrity of the tooth, it may crack or break when pressure is applied. As a whole, teeth are strong and can withstand pressure and use, but when they’ve been compromised, they can become brittle and break easily. Small fillings rarely pose a risk to the integrity of the tooth, but if you need a large filling, your risk will increase.

This is why if you have a larger area of decay on a tooth, we’ll likely recommend that you get a crown instead of a large filling. A crown will completely cover the exposed area of the tooth and will reinforce its strength greatly diminishing your risk for breaking or losing the damaged tooth.

Call our office with any questions and when you schedule your next cleaning, we can look at any fillings you may have that you’re concerned about.