Many people believe that once a cavity is treated with a filling, it will last forever. Sadly, few things last forever, and that includes tooth fillings.
Some fillings are made to last longer than others, but even the best can fail or become compromised over time. It is usually difficult for most of us to determine this without the help of a professional, but check out these 4 signs that could signify a need for a filling replacement.
A Filling That Hurts
If you find that biting down on food causes discomfort or pain, that may be a sign that you need to have your filling replaced. This can be caused by normal wear and tear including grinding your teeth or clenching them inadvertently. Any sort of recurring stress on teeth may cause a filling to move or chip, and therefore need to be replaced.
A Filling That Falls Out
In this case it is pretty obvious that something bad has happened, and a replacement is needed. It is fairly common for very large fillings to fall out when you bite down on something hard, as this can actually break the filling itself and cause all or part of it to break free. This situation should be addressed as soon as you can make an appointment with your dentist.
Very Old Fillings
Many times we don’t realize that our fillings have become chipped or cracked. We may not have any pain or notice anything out of the ordinary at first, but eventually there will be pain. Chips and cracks leave tiny openings where bacteria can grow and gradually cause decay. Our mouth is chock full of bacteria including our saliva and any plaque left on our teeth, which can lead to problems with our fillings.
If the seal is broken on an old filling, food particles can get between the filling and the tooth and under the filling causing decay. If this is not detected early, infections can occur in the dental pulp that will require a root canal procedure to treat. Regular appointments with Manhattan Dental Arts can detect weak spots or cracks through standard examinations, cleanings, and X-rays.
Older fillings can change color and darken. They may become stained with what we eat and drink, and if they are quite visible then you may wish to have them replaced with newer fillings. Talk with your dentist if you are considering this option.
Amalgam or metal fillings are completely safe. There is no reason to have these metal fillings replaced according to the American Dental Association unless they fail.
Don’t delay if you think a filling needs to be replaced. Contact Manhattan Dental Arts as soon as possible.
As always, if you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (212) 247-2330 or request an appointment online today!