When Do I Need To Replace A Dental Filling?

Dental fillings are commonly used to restore a tooth after a cavity or an infection. Once your Bluffton dentist removes all decayed tissue, they will fill the tooth to restore the look and function. This may also stop other bacteria from attacking the tooth. 

If you’ve had a filling a while back, you may be wondering whether you should get it replaced. Dental fillings can last as long as 15 years with the right care, but it is possible to need to replace them sooner.

Check out this short blog post to understand when you might need to replace a dental filling.

What Are the Signs of a Damaged Filling?

Some common signs that your filling may be damaged or failing can include:

  • Finding pieces of filling material in the mouth (such as during brushing or eating)
  • Noticing visible cracks or holes in the filling
  • Heightened sensitivity when the tooth is exposed to heat or cold
  • Tooth discoloration, etc.

What Happens If You Don’t Replace the Filling?

A damaged or fallen filling must be replaced right away, for several reasons.

First, a filling is not added just for aesthetic purposes. It helps make the tooth stronger, and if it falls out, your tooth may be more susceptible to cracking or chipping when you chew your food.

Moreover, the filling has the important role of protecting the tooth from further decay and damage. When it falls out, the tooth underneath is not exposed to that harmful bacteria again, which means it can easily develop another cavity or even become infected.

The good news is that replacing a dental filling is a rather simple procedure. The dentist will inspect the tooth to make sure there are no signs of decay or other damage, then add the filling material and reshape the tooth.

How Do You Properly Maintain a Dental Filling?

Some great ways to extend the lifespan of your dental filling can include:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to prevent more damage to the tooth
  • Don’t brush too aggressively and use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Don’t eat very hard foods (nuts, popcorn kernels) or chew on objects
  • If you grind your teeth, get a mouthguard to protect your natural teeth and the filling
  • See your dentist for routine appointments

Dealing with a Damaged Filling? We Can Help

Noticed a filling has fallen or failed? Dr. Joel Darrah, DDS is here to help.

If you’re also experiencing lots of pain, you may be dealing with a dental emergency, in which case you can call us at (843) 815-3232 for swift care.

For a regular appointment, schedule a visit at Buckwalter Dental Care and stop by our practice to get your filling replaced!

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