Dental Tips Blog

Jul
24

4 Signs Your Filling is Wearing Out

Posted in Fillings

It’s an unfortunate fact of life and dentistry: restorations wear out. By keeping up with your restorative needs, however, you can maintain a high standard of living so that your life isn’t interrupted as frequently by dental discomfort.

You can be alert to key factors that indicate you should upgrade your filling so as to improve the quality of your dental health.

 Recurrent decay

If a filling is so aged that it has microscopic leakage around the edges, it is possible for bacteria to infiltrate and reinfect the area around the filling. This kind of decay is called recurrent, and may be noticed on an x-ray before you are aware of any symptoms.

Sensitivity or soreness

Whether due to a filling loosening because of decay or changes in the shape of the tooth, sensitivity around a tooth could be a sign the filling is failing to protect the tooth.

Change in shape of the filling

A tooth is subjected to pressures of chewing over time, and even more so if grinding/clenching is involved. These intense pressures affect the fit of a filling, and can result in small fractures in the tooth.

Metal fillings

These are less-common, than they used to be. There is no reliable evidence that the mercury content of amalgam (metal) fillings is high enough to pose a health risk, but some people gain peace of mind by updating their metal fillings to the more modern and esthetic tooth-colored composite resin fillings.

Talk with your dentist soon about the possibility of updating your existing fillings to prevent bigger problems down the road. Changing your filling out ahead of time can eliminate the need for more comprehensive treatments and keep fillings smaller.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Comfort Dental
5511 Raeford Rd #255
Fayetteville, NC 28304
(910) 485-0023

Apr
29

Three Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Just like a patch on a tire, fillings in your teeth will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Waiting until it’s too late could result in the tooth breaking down and requiring more invasive therapy. Here are a few things to watch out for:

Rough Edges Around the Tooth

Your tongue can feel even very minor changes when it comes to your teeth and the restorations inside of your mouth. The slightest alteration will catch its attention all day long. If you feel a rough area or something that has a sharp surface against your tongue, there’s almost a 100% chance that something is going on. 

Sensitivity

Leaky margins around your filling can cause you to be sensitive to certain temperatures or types of foods. Even pressure could bother it. If you feel a slight twinge during a meal, then don’t ignore it. Most likely your filling is beginning to creep away from the tooth. 

Something “Doesn’t Feel Quite Right”

You would be surprised to hear how many people come into the dentist without any specific symptoms other than the description that something feels a bit “off.” Lo and behold, something really is! If your tooth seems different, then have your dentist check it out.

Regular check-ups and x-rays can help your dentist monitor the health of your fillings, catching the worn ones before symptoms start to show up. Be sure to visit your dentist at least every 6 months, or sooner if you feel changes inside of your mouth. The quicker you get access to care, the simpler and more affordable it will be to correct the issue that has come up.

Posted on behalf of:
Rowe Family Dental Care
2320 Satellite Blvd NW #120
Duluth, GA 30096
(770) 622-5909

Apr
11

Replacing Fillings

Posted in Fillings

Regular dental cleaning and checkups are very important for maintaining good oral health.  If tooth decay is identified during a check-up, your dentist will repair the tooth by removing the decay and placing a dental filling.  Dental fillings normally last for many years.  The length of time varies depending on the patients’ oral hygiene habits, how well the placement was done, and other variables but in general an amalgam (silver) filling can be expected to last 10 to 15 years.  Composite (white or tooth colored) fillings don’t last quite as long – about 5 to 7 years.

Dental fillings are under a lot of stress from chewing, grinding teeth, and clenching.  Over time, a filling can wear away or it can chip, crack, or fall out of the tooth.  Fillings can wear around the edges and leave a small space between the filling and the tooth enamel.  Bacteria can enter this space and cause tooth decay around the filling.

Good oral hygiene including good brushing habits will help reduce the incidence of tooth decay around fillings.  Brushing twice a day and daily flossing will reduce the amount of decay causing bacteria and help prevent tooth decay.  Regular dental check-ups can identify a damaged filling or tooth decay around a filling before extensive damage occurs.

Worn, chipped, and cracked fillings should be replaced promptly.  In most cases, the filling can be replaced but if the patient waits until the tooth hurts or the filling falls out, the tooth may have too much damage to repair.  In this case, your dentist will need to install a crown instead of replacing the filling.

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