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Signs that It Is Time to Replace Old Fillings

By Joe McIntyre, DDS on October 17, 2018

A drawing of the lower molars, with one molar that has a dental fillingTooth-colored dental fillings are comprised of a durable composite resin and made to last for years with the right care. Still, this restoration is not designed to function indefinitely and will need to be replaced at some point.

The dentists at Smiles for Life in Harrisonburg, VA review the tale-tell signs that indicate it is time to replace old fillings.  Patients who have a worn or damaged filling may need a new filling or another restoration like a dental crown. Read on to learn more about filings that should be replaced.

A Dislodged Filling

If your filling has come out partly or entirely, then it needs to be replaced. A dislodged filling can occur when biting down on hard foods, or due to trauma to the face.

Fillings are more likely to become dislodged if:

  • The filling loses its bond
  • The underlying tooth is cracked
  • A cavity has developed beneath the filling
  • The patient grinds their teeth (bruxism)

You Have Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity may be a sign that the filling is not adhering properly to the tooth. A sensitive or unpleasant sensation is often most perceivable when the patient eats or drinks hot or cold foods and drinks.

Tell your dentist if you are experiencing tooth sensitivity and he or she can assess the tooth to determine if the filling is adequately bonded.

A Cracked or Fractured Filling

You may develop small cracks in your filling due to every day wear and tear. Patients who grind their teeth and do not wear night guards are at increased risk of cracking dental fillings.

Sometime the cracks are so small that the patient does not notice them, and the problem is identified during a routine dental visit. No matter how small the crack, the filling likely needs to be replaced. The reason being that bacteria can proliferate in these small fissures, increasing your risk for infection and decay.

You Experience Tooth Discomfort

A tooth with a filling can develop a cavity, and discomfort is often a sign this has happened.

Be sure to contact your dentist right away to have the tooth assessed. As with any oral health concerns, treating the issue as early as possible saves money and time in the long run.

You Have an Old Filling

Tooth-colored fillings are designed to have about a decade lifespan. Some patients who take good care of their restoration may have a filling for 15 years or longer.

That said, an older filling may need to be replaced before it sustains damage to avoid oral health problems and costly treatments.

Have Your Dental Filling Replaced Today

The team at Smiles for Life can replace your old or damaged dental filling quickly and conveniently. Find out whether your dental filling needs to be replaced by scheduling a consultation.

You can call us at (540) 828-2312 and speak with a team member directly. You can also use our online form and we will get back to you shortly.

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115 Oakwood Dr
Bridgewater, VA 22812

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