Dental fillings can last for many years, but they do often need to be replaced. Some old fillings may require replacement while others may not. New fillings that have been on your teeth for several months may need replacement. The only person who knows when fillings need to be replaced is your dentist.
Possible Reasons Your Dental Fillings Need to be Replaced
Dental fillings are like tires on your car. After several years and mileage, they need to be replaced. One of the possible reasons your dentist will recommend a replacement is a sign of decay.
Decay may not be noticeable to you, but during a dental checkup, your dentist can detect decay. Dental decay can cause further damage if it’s not treated immediately and appropriately. Bacteria finds its way into your oral system and multiplies. If you don’t do anything about decay or bacteria, it can affect surrounding teeth, eventually resulting in extraction.
Another reason your dental fillings need replacement is because they have chipped and cracked. Cracking doesn’t necessarily pose a serious threat to your health but it’s best to replace a cracked tooth before it cracks further and breaks entirely. When teeth crack, they must be repaired because they can cause serious damage, not just to your mouth, but also to your overall health.
Over time, dental fillings can leave a gap in your tooth. The space created can give saliva and bacteria an area where they can interact freely, causing further damage to your tooth. For that reason, it’s ideal to close the gap early before it causes a cavity.
When should they be replaced?
Dental fillings need replacement at the very sign of leakage or decay. Once leakage or decay has started, the cavity is already developing. Cavities grow larger and can cause greater dental issues if you left it untreated.
What if the dental fillings don’t hurt?
Just because your dental fillings don’t hurt doesn’t mean that they aren’t damaged. The lack of pain doesn’t indicate that your tooth is healthy. Some small cavities don’t have symptoms at all. Sometimes, a tooth that causes pain is already a sign that the cavity is getting large and the tooth’s pulp is already affected. If that’s your case, you may need to undergo a major dental procedure, like a root canal or tooth extraction.
If you’re not sure whether or not your dental fillings require replacement, you should visit Nicholas S. St. George clinic today. You can make an appointment or call his clinic to schedule an initial consultation.