When Do I Need To Replace My Old Fillings? What You Need To Know

Fillings are the best method of cavity repair, and when they’re properly placed, they can easily last a decade or longer. But they are not completely permanent. Chances are that, at some point, you’ll need to have one or more of your fillings replaced with a new filling. 

This is completely normal – and it’s nothing to be concerned about. In this article, we’ll look at the basics about what you need to know about having your old fillings replaced. Let’s get started! 

Why Would A Filling Need To Be Replaced?

There are several reasons that one of your fillings may need to be replaced, as follows:

  • Cosmetic issues – If you’ve got a mercury-amalgam filling or another filling made out of metal, and you’re looking to get a “smile makeover”, it can be replaced with a tooth-colored filling, which will help restore and brighten your smile. This is completely optional. 
  • Signs of decay – If your filled tooth begins to show further signs of decay, a dental filling retreatment will be needed to remove the filling and affected tooth enamel. The filling will be replaced with a new, larger filling, or a dental crown may even be used, in some cases.
  • Chipping or cracking – If your filling cracks or becomes chipped, it may need to be replaced. This is because the filling is at a higher risk of becoming dislodged or falling out completely, which can be a choking hazard, and pose a threat to your tooth.
  • “Leakage” problems – If the filling “pulls away” from your tooth and leaves a gap between the tooth and filling, bacterial growth and tooth decay will be encouraged. Your filling must be replaced if this happens.
  • Filling falls out or is pulled out – This can happen due to an impact injury from a sport or a car accident, or even if you chew on an extremely sticky food like taffy, and the filling is pulled out. The underlying tooth structure is very vulnerable, so the filling will need to be replaced ASAP.

How Do I Know When A Filling Should Be Replaced? 

There are a few ways you can recognize if a filling needs to be replaced.

  • Check for obvious damage or wear – In some cases, you may be able to see obvious signs of a filling that needs to be replaced, such as cracks or damage to the structure, or even small holes or discolored spots around the filling which could indicate tooth decay due to filling “leakage”.
  • Watch out for tooth sensitivity – If a tooth with a cavity is sensitive to pressure, heat and cold, and other such things, this could be a sign that your filling will need to be replaced.
  • Be on the lookout for tooth pain – Tooth pain is always an indicator that something is wrong, especially if it happens when you’re not eating or drinking. Throbbing or “sharp” pain could indicate an issue with a filled tooth.
  • See your dentist regularly – You’re not a professional, but your dentist is! At each of your six-month check-ups, your dentist will be taking a look at the health of your entire mouth – including the integrity of your fillings.They will be able to tell you if your fillings must be replaced, and help you understand what you can expect from the process of a filling replacement. This is the best way to avoid tooth decay and further damage caused by a faulty filling – so see your Dentist in Greenbelt regularly for a teeth cleaning and dental exam.

Get Your Fillings Replaced – Protect Your Oral Health 

Replacing a filling is a good idea for your continued oral health. If one of your fillings is damaged or faulty, it can cause further damage to your mouth. So contact a cavity repair San Diego dentist today to make sure your fillings are in good shape – and get any faulty or failing fillings replaced ASAP!

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