When do dental fillings need to be replaced? Do my old fillings need to be replaced even if they do not hurt? These questions almost always come up when the topic of “old” dental fillings is discussed during our dental exams at Denton Smiles Dentistry. In this blog post, these questions will be answered as well as why all our dental fillings will need to be replaced in a timely manner.
Reasons to Replace Fillings
As with anything in life, nothing lasts forever. Fillings are like tires on your car. After so much mileage or use, they will need to be replaced. Here are some good reasons that will signal an alarm for you to get your fillings replaced:
• Signs of Decay: On a closer inspection of your afflicted area, signs of decay become more visible and such should make you visit our office immediately. Decay can cause further damage if not treated appropriately. As bacteria finds a loophole to enter your oral system it would eventually increase and multiply at great pace before it can be stopped.
• Chipping or Cracking: Though they may not pose a serious nature to many, but when fillings tend to crack or chip then its best they are replaced. They might come off altogether and may become a choking hazard. Running on a broken down tool is hazardous and when fillings wear off its best they are replaced, before they can cause serious damage to one’s health.
• Leakage: Over the time of continuous usage there might come an instance where the filling actually leaves a gap within the tooth. This space is where saliva and bacteria can interact freely and cause further damages. It’s best to respond to leaking fillings early on before they get out of hand.
Examples of fillings that need to be replaced
A silver filling that needs to be replaced
- When a silver filling needs to be replaced, it starts to separate or crack away from the tooth. What will result are small gaps in between the tooth and the filling which allows bacteria, plaque, and food to enter the tooth. This will lead to a cavity. In extreme cases, an older silver filling may fracture a portion or major piece of the entire tooth.
A tooth colored filling that needs to be replaced
- When a tooth colored filling needs to be replaced, it starts to separate from the tooth as well. Just like the silver fillings, these small gaps in between the tooth and the filling allows bacteria, plaque, and food to enter the tooth.
*It should be noted that as older fillings (silver or tooth colored) fail and allow leakage into the tooth, a cavity will develop and keep getting worse until treated.
Frequently asked Questions
- When do dental fillings need to be replaced?
- As stated earlier, fillings need to be replaced at the very first signs of “leakage” and “decay.” Once this process has started either a cavity is developing or already present. Cavities will only get larger and cause larger issues when left untreated
- Do my old fillings need to be replaced even if they do not hurt?
- Lack of pain or sensitivity on one’s tooth does not indicate a “healthy” tooth. Most small cavities will be asymptomatic. If a tooth is causing pain or sensitivity then that is a sign that the cavity is very large and that the pulp of the tooth is compromised. If this is the case then major procedures ranging from a root canal or extraction/implant may be required.
Need fillings replaced? Give us a call!
If you feel like a filling may need to be replaced or if you’re not sure, please make an appointment with either Dr. Susan Tran or Dr. Glenn Vo. You can make an appointment by clicking here or by calling us at (940) 380-1188.