Most of us are used to going for a dental check-up and they use the dreaded pick to see if your fillings are OK. Unfortunately the pick will miss cavities because if your old fillings are leaking, the decay is NOT on the surface. It is deep under the surface.
When fillings are there 5, 10 or 15 years and longer they start to corrode, crack and leak. The germs and food can get in and silently rot your teeth underneath, inside, where you cannot see or feel it.
The only way to find these huge cavities is by carefully looking using a powerful video camera to see these openings that are letting the germs and food collect inside your teeth. The decay causes your teeth to silently rot, leading to infections, abscesses and root canals.
Look at the pictures below. If you were in the supermarket and picked up a jar of mayonnaise and the metal cap looked like this, would you take the jar home and expect the contents to be fresh? No way! Now look at what is inside the tooth. Yuck! Look at the rotten decay deep under the filling where it cannot be felt or seen, even with x-rays.
1) Old filling with tell tale cracks
2) Decay is obvious once filling is removed.
3) Decay is removed, leaving large hole.
4) Same tooth with NEW filling.
Leaky filling: notice blue-gray shadow on the lower right corner of the tooth
Old, leaking filling removed: Notice the deep, black decay in center of the tooth.
With the camera fixed in position, you can see decay under the tooth point in the upper right side.
A red food dye cavity detector marks the spot of decay under the lower right tooth point.
See where the decay was removed under the formerly gray tooth point.
Laser bonded filling: The blue-gray shadow is gone, even though the part of the tooth that had the blue-gray color is still there