Dental fillings could be doing as much harm as good. They trigger decay in surrounding teeth in more than 60 per cent of cases, new research has found.
The chances of further decay are worsened by the technique of the dentist, especially if he or she isn't following the latest practices, and by the oral hygiene of the patient.
One possibility could be that the dentist is damaging surrounding teeth when drilling and preparing the tooth that is to be filled.
In a review of 750 patients who had fillings, 61 per cent had decay in adjoining teeth within five years, researchers from the Nordic Institute of Dental Materials in Oslo discovered. Of these, 30 per cent needed filling.
The researchers said the risk was similar with all types of fillings, including amalgam, gold, glass ionomer, and porcelain.
(Source: Journal of Dentistry, 2015; 43: 1323-29)