A filling is designed to be tough, durable, and lasting. However, all fillings will need to be replaced eventually. Once your filling begins to fail, you will want to promptly make an appointment with Premier Dental Center.
Here’s everything you need to know about the five clear signs that your filling needs to be replaced.
The Filling Is Cracked
Wear and tear, along with time, can cause a filling to crack eventually. Although it usually takes years of wear to crack a filling, this issue can occur earlier if you have the habit of grinding your teeth. Any opening in a tooth, even one as narrow as a crack, can allow bacteria to enter the tooth and cause further decay. In some cases, you may be able to see a cracked filling with an untrained eye, but in others, an x-ray during a dental visit can reveal one.
You’re Experiencing Pain and Discomfort
If you have a crack in your tooth, you may develop a cavity under the filling. Any symptoms of pain in a tooth should be discussed and addressed with your dentist as soon as possible, especially if the pain has developed in a tooth that has been filled. Early detection is the best way to prevent small issues from turning into more time-consuming treatments.
Your Tooth Is Sensitive
If you have a filling that needs to be replaced, you will likely feel it first in the form of tooth sensitivity. One of the first symptoms patients experience is having a tooth with an existing filling that is sensitive to temperature, sweets, or pressure. These can all be signs that a filling needs to be replaced. Being aware of the physical signs and symptoms of old or decaying fillings can let you know when it’s time for them to be replaced by your dentist.
Your Filling Has Fallen Out
You will undoubtedly need a new filling if you have lost all or part of the previous one. If this happens, call Premier Dental Center right away. You might experience a bit of pain when the tooth is exposed to the air or hot or cold temperatures. If this happens, apply a small amount of dental cement, which is available in most drugstores. This temporary fix can help reduce the sensitivity until your tooth can be repaired in our office.
You Experience Pressure When Eating
In some cases, you may feel pressure in a tooth that has a filling when biting down on food. This sensation can signal a damaged filling or even damage to your dental pulp.
How Long Do Fillings Last?
The older style of metal fillings, while less popular due to their aesthetics, are still incredibly strong and durable. Amalgam fillings are highly resistant to the wear and tear that comes from chewing; however, even the strongest materials degrade over time. Typically lasting for over a decade, metal fillings start to create noticeable symptoms when they begin to fail. You may experience soreness, or notice that your filling can “give” under pressure. If you notice that your teeth are darkening, it can be a result of the metal leaking out of the filling and into your tooth. All of these symptoms are a result of a failing amalgam filling.
Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings.
White composite fillings do not typically last as long as amalgam fillings, but they still last for 7-10 years in healthy patients. When it comes to the benefits of tooth-colored fillings, it’s evident that the number one reason for their popularity is appearance. Restorations with composite material create a tooth-colored repair that blends in with your other teeth. This allows for complete tooth restoration without the harsh and unattractive appearance of metal. Tooth-colored composite fillings have other advantages as well.