When to fix old fillings and cracks in my teeth

My dentist recommended some fillings and a crown due to old fillings, and a few “cracks” in my teeth.  Can I just wait until something hurts to get them fixed?

Sure you can wait until something hurts.  But generally that usually means a Root Canal or maybe an extraction of the tooth.  All those fillings in your mouth were probably placed when you were younger.  Do you remember your teeth hurting before the fillings?  Of course not.  The dentist told you (or your parents) that you had a cavity and it needs to be filled.  Cavities usually don’t hurt until they hit the nerve and then it’s too late. This ends up resulting in pain and dental work that is time consuming and expensive. Also, dental work never lasts forever.  It is always temporary.  Those “cracks” are probably associated with a mercury filling.  These are the most difficult to assess since x-rays do not tell us how deep the cracks are.  Crowns are the best option in these teeth. This greatly reduces the chance for a root canal.

This goes back to the “reactive” and “proactive” approach to dentistry.  A reactive way waits until something breaks and hurts before treatment is done.  I prefer the proactive approach where I can prevent a future toothache and reduce the cost of treatment significantly. I always customize the treatment based on my patient’s preferences.  You should ask your dentist for all your options.