Tag Archives: dental care

Dental fillings could be causing decay in other teeth

… scream WDDTY on their webshite in a brief post dated Thursday, October 29, 2015:


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)

All very scary. For once, given WDDTY‘s tendency to muck up the references, the journal and abstract are easy to find: they’re here.

So, are dental fillings per se triggering decay in surrounding teeth? Well, in a word:

NO

Yes, once again WDDTY has totally misrepresented the findings of a study. What the researchers really concluded, in as many words, was:

Conclusions
Both patient- and dentist related variables are risk factors for caries development on approximal surfaces in contact with newly placed Class II composite restorations.

What are these patient-related variables? Dental hygiene, or the lack thereof. But you’d guessed that.

What are these dentist-related variables? Skill and technique, says the study.

I suspect we can add to that: not enough time spent on educating patients, especially the very young, about the necessities of dental hygiene and why fluoride is a good thing. Of course, like most medical professionals, dentists often don’t have much time to spend on prevention. Which is why irresponsible lies and scaremongering by rags like WDDTY is all the more reprehensible: they try to frighten people away from getting proper preventive care and real medical care.

Why don’t doctors tell you dental fillings could be causing decay in other teeth?

Because it’s  exactly as true as saying cars cause car accidents.