Patch or replace entire filling(s)?

Aug 16, 2017
During my last cleaning my dentist, of the past 18 years, told me I had 3 small cavities in different molars - all of which have fillings from previous cavities.
In addition, some of my molars no longer have contact between them because old fillings have worn/chipped away, between the teeth, over the years. (i get a lot of food stuck between my teeth)

My dentist of many years told me they'd do the fillings and fill in the contacts while they were in there.
Before i could have the work done my insurance changed and I had to try a new dentist for the fillings. This new dentist said he could do the fillings and fix the contacts but his method is to remove any previous fillings in the teeth and replace them completely versus patching/filling. He said this is the way he does fillings and has for 35 years.
These fillings he would be removing are pretty deep fillings, that were rather painful to get done the first time and span 5 teeth (3 on 1 side and 2 on the other). He wants to do it in two sessions so I do one side at a time.

Is this common practice to drill out any previous filling and redo them completely? or is patching the tooth/filling more standard?

any insight would be greatly appreciated!


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