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Does my old silver filled molar really need a root canal and crown?



Junior member
Nov 7, 2011
My Dentist retired, so I used a new one who told me that my silver filled molar on the bottom right is leaking, but will be best with a root canal and crown since the filling is already deep. Is this really true? Do I really need a root canal even though the nerve is currently fine? Why can't I just get another filling, instead of needing this tooth ground down. The filling is 9 years old, but this Dentist claims that my old Dentist should have told me that any replacement would be with a root canal and crown? I have attached the xray showing the filled tooth. I was also curious if the Dentist drilled the back half of my tooth for a cavity there too, or was it just to hold the filling in for the cavity I definitely had in the front half of the tooth


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Not a dentist, but here is my understanding:

Anytime a filling needs to be replaced they will usually need to drill a little more of the tooth. Also, if your current filling is leaking, you may have some additional decay (caused by the leaking) that needs to be removed. The dentist may believe that this will cause the new filling to be too close to the nerve hence the root canal. In terms of the crown, if it already a heavily restored tooth which will now have additional filling (and potentially a root canal), the dentist may believe that the tooth will likely be more at risk to crack (at which point you could lose the tooth all together) if not crowned.

If you are concerned or don't think this is the right option for you, you could certainly seek a second opinion from another dentists. I'm sure the dentists on this board will be as helpful as they can, but nobody can really tell you what your options are for sure without actually seeing you.

Best of luck to you!
Here is a picture of my molars with the big silver filling.


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