If you have had one or more metal fillings placed over the years, it is important for you to know that they can become outdated and should be replaced to preserve as much of your tooth as possible. How do you know if a filling is on its last leg?
What You May Notice
You may notice some darkening around your old filling. Some of this stain is harmless, but it could also be the result of decay or leakage developing around the filling. You may even notice some tiny cracks around the filling. Another sure sign that the filling is causing tooth fracture or that there is a cavity growing would be sensitivity to biting or temperature. All of these signs are good reasons to have your fillings examined by your dentist.
What the Dentist Will Notice
If you don’t have any sensitivity in a tooth with an old filling, you likely would not notice anything wrong until it is too late. When you come in for regular exams, your dentist will check for signs such as darkening of the tooth and microfractures with the potential to spread. Also, x-ray technology allows your dentist to see how the filling margins look inside and in-between teeth.
What You Can Do
Because tooth-colored fillings are made of a material that bonds chemically with the tooth, upgrading your old metal fillings to white ones will preserve more tooth structure and clean out any recurring decay. If the stress from an old metal filling has caused small fractures in the tooth, it may need a crown to protect it. Be proactive! Protect your teeth by having your existing metal fillings examined regularly by your dentist and be quick to update them, if advisable.
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12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
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