When Should a Filling be Replaced?
Most dental patients have had some fillings placed on their teeth and one decision that I make everyday when I check these patients is whether or not we need to replace any existing fillings. As fillings get older, several things can happen that would necessitate the replacement of the filling – cracks or chipping of the filling, looseness of the filling material and tooth decay that develops under or around the filling are all reasons that the filling should be replaced. Over the next few weeks, I will discuss the reasons for replacing older fillings and show some examples of teeth we have restored.
As fillings get older, they often start to leak and let bacteria under the filling material. Over time, this bacteria can cause decay. If left untreated, the decay will get deeper into the tooth and can cause tooth pain, infection and fractures to develop in the tooth, all of which are more complicated and expensive to restore. At the first sign of tooth decay, a filling should be removed and replaced.
Here is an example of a tooth with an existing amalgam filling. Upon looking at the x-rays, we discovered a cavity under the filling. To treat the decay, we removed the amalgam filling and tooth decay and restored the tooth with a composite filling. Because we caught this early, we were able to avoid more problems.
Be sure to have your fillings checked regularly and if a problem is developing, consider having the filling replaced. It is much easier to replace a filling then to treat an infection or cracked tooth. If you have any questions or are concerned that you may have a problem with a filling, call our office at (937) 434-8870.
The Almoney and Brown Dental Team