Just like a good pair of shoes, your dental work can wear out over time. Fillings eventually need to be changed out, so that damage doesn’t occur to your surrounding tooth surfaces. A healthy dental filling will keep the tooth functioning normally, without compromising other areas from excess pressure or forces. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your filling? Here are 3 of the most common signs that your filling is beginning to wear out and that you need to have it checked by a dentist:
#1 – The filling “feels funny”
Does something feel not quite right? Maybe when you chew, you notice that something feels different all of a sudden. Or, your tongue may notice that there’s a rough edge that wasn’t there before. Your body can tell when things aren’t the way they’re supposed to be.
#2 – Changes in temperature bother your tooth
Are you suddenly sensitive to temperature changes like hot or cold food on that tooth? Do sweet-flavored drinks or foods bother it? These are some obvious red flags that the nerve of the tooth is experiencing some form of stimulation that it shouldn’t be. New decay may have leaked in around your filling, or the filling may be creeping away from the tooth.
#3 – You’re catching food in that area
If food is building up or getting packed in an area after every meal, especially if it didn’t in the past, then it probably means something is broken. Either a piece of tooth or the filling may have come out. It’s time to repair your tooth before more of it begins to break apart.
If you are replacing an old silver colored amalgam filling, consider a modern tooth colored filling. These fillings are made of composite material and match your natural tooth color for a better looking smile.
Posted on behalf of Gold Hill Dentistry
Metal fillings are often called “amalgam” or silver fillings, and have been used by dentists for over a century. As metal fillings age, they also begin to leak into the tooth enamel around the filling, causing a bluish-grey stain in the tooth. This can make metal fillings more unsightly over time, as they can become darker and appear as black areas on the teeth when someone talks or laughs. Amalgam fillings also contain mercury, a metal that some people associate with negative health effects due to it being present in the body through dental fillings.
Removing metal fillings can both remove the unwanted mercury from your mouth, but also allow you to replace the filling with a more cosmetically pleasing, tooth colored filling. When removing mercury fillings, it takes highly trained skills and isolation techniques in order to prevent the mercury from escaping and leaking into the rest of the body. There are very special protocols for isolating the mercury filling and extracting it without exposing the patient. Normal filling removal does not involve careful additional steps, so if mercury exposure is something you are concerned with you will want to consider mercury isolation during removal.
Only specially trained dentists offer this service, so remember to ask your dental office if it is something they offer to patients or not. When the mercury is removed from the tooth it is also suctioned into an advanced trap system, preventing the mercury filling from entering into the environment. The mercury filling is then collected after the procedure and disposed of using EPA standards.
Once your metal filling has been removed, you can choose a tooth colored restoration to put in its place, such as a composite filling or porcelain crown, based on your needs.
Posted on the behalf of Cosmetic Dentistry Center
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