When to Replace a Dental Filling

A dental filling is a standard treatment to address tooth decay. Dentists remove decay from an affected tooth and then use composite resin to fill the resulting void in the tooth’s surface. They cure the resin with a light to harden the filling into place and create durable protection for this area of the tooth.

Dental fillings can shield a tooth from further damage and withstand the everyday wear and tear that your teeth experience as part of normal oral function. But fillings will not last forever. Over time, a filling may wear down, become loose, or otherwise break. If this happens, the underlying tooth will become exposed and in danger of new cavities and other dental damage.

When this deterioration of your filling occurs, you will require a replacement of the old filling. Read on to learn details about the dental filling replacement procedure, including signs you require this treatment.

When to Replace a Dental Filling

How Can I Tell If I Need a New Dental Filling?

You may notice some symptoms in your tooth if your dental filling becomes old and worn and needs replacement. For instance, the filling might feel wobbly in the tooth or appear discolored.

If you have a damaged filling, the tooth might feel sensitive too. You can experience a sharp pain when the tooth is touched because the seal of the filling is broken, exposing underlying nerves that send pain signals when stimulated. This type of oral pain means the filling no longer functions as it should and requires replacement.

Patients often feel no changes when a filling is defective and needs to be replaced – one of the many reasons why routine oral exams with your dentist are crucial to maintaining health. Make sure you attend these appointments so that you can fix old fillings promptly before you sustain additional dental damage.

How Will a Dentist Replace an Old Dental Filling?

Dentists begin this procedure of replacing a dental filling by numbing the area for comfort and removing the defective filling from the tooth with a dental handpiece. The dentist can then place a new filling the same way the original one was bonded. However, if the tooth sustained additional structural damage, you may need an alternate treatment that features more restorative benefits, like a dental crown.

How Can I Take Care of a Dental Filling?

A dental filling can remain in place in your mouth for up to ten years or more with proper care and maintenance. You can maximize the benefits of this dental restoration when you prioritize preventive oral healthcare. This will entail practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups.

Brushing your teeth and flossing routinely will remove harmful bacteria and plaque that could harm the enamel surrounding a filling. If you suffer from dental erosion or recurrent tooth decay, the filling might not last as long.

You could also damage a filling through poor oral habits like biting your nails or grinding your teeth. Make sure you avoid these behaviors so that you do not break a filling. Find more tips that can protect fillings and other dental work in your smile when you contact your dentist.