When to Have Old Fillings Replaced

When to Have Old Fillings Replaced

Of all the available procedures, fillings are among the methods most used by dentists. Their popularity is due largely to their ability to fill cavities with minimal invasion quickly.

But they aren’t invincible. Anything from general wear-and-tear to trauma, easily (and frequently) can compromise your filling, and the result can be devastating. That’s why Dr Nupur Gupta and her team at Perfect Smiles Dental want you to be aware of the signs that indicate your filling needs fixing. 

The basics of fillings

A filling replaced tooth structure lost to damage and decay, most often from a cavity. Cavities are small, often painful, holes that form in the surface of your tooth when plaque lingers on your teeth. If left untreated, a cavity can grow larger, weaken your tooth, and increase your risk of infection.

In the past, fillings were made from metal-based substances, making them noticeable anytime you open your mouth.

Thanks to advancements in dentistry, we can fill your cavity with fillings made from a composite resin that matches the shade of your natural teeth. This means you can address your oral health issues with next to no one noticing. 

The composite resin material we use to fill cavities can withstand years of use, but at some point, they must be replaced. 

Warning signs your filling need to be replaced

There are a few ways you can tell when your filling requires a trip to the dentist — chief among them: pain. 

You can almost be certain that you have a broken or loose filling if you notice aching, throbbing, or sharp pain, particularly when your teeth touch. Consuming hot and cold beverages, air, pressure, and sugary foods can exacerbate your discomfort.

You may also be able to notice changes in your bite or the texture and position of your filing. 

When the worst happens, and you suspect that something’s wrong with your filling, it’s crucial to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gupta as soon as possible. Leaving your filling cracked, chipped, or loose opens the door for bacteria and other harmful substances to build up in the open spaces of your tooth and cause infection. 

Dr. Gupta takes X-ray images of your teeth to identify the location and the extent of the damage to your filling. Then, she removes any decay before placing a new filling in your tooth. 

If the damage is severe and enough decay is present, she may recommend a dental crown as an added measure of protection. 

If you have to wait until your appointment, the best thing you can do is keep your mouth as free from bacteria as possible. You can easily do this by gargling warm salt water and maintaining your dental hygiene routine. 

How to care for your filling

Whether your filling has been replaced or you still have the original, it’s time to brush up on some filling-friendly tips and tricks. To help your filling last as long as possible, you should

You can also extend the life of your filling by caring for your teeth through daily brushing and flossing. 

Have more questions? Worried that your filling is ready to be replaced? We’re here for you. Request an appointment online or over the phone at our Pleasant Hill, California, office today.

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