If you’re not sure whether your filling needs to be replaced, here are some general guidelines: composite fillings should be replaced every five to seven years, amalgam fillings should be replaced every ten to 12 years, and gold fillings should last 15 to 20 years. However, these timescales are just a guideline—if you have any concerns, always consult your dentist.
Here are six signs that your filling needs a replacement:
If you have a cavity, your dentist will likely fill it with a composite resin. Composite resin is a tooth-colored material used to fill cavities and repair teeth. It is made of plastic and glass particles. The plastic gives the material its color, and the glass helps to make it strong. Composite resin is also tooth-friendly; it does not contain any metals. So, if you have a metal filling and then get a cavity, your dentist may replace the metal filling with a composite resin filling.
2. Signs of Damage
If your filling shows signs of damage, you should see your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist can repair the filling and, if necessary, replace it with a new one. If you have a filling and notice any of these signs, call your dentist immediately. A filling no longer protecting the tooth can lead to more serious dental problems.
3. Tooth Pain
If you have a damaged or loose filling, it’s important to get it fixed. A loose filling can create a gap between the filling and the tooth. This space can allow bacteria and food to get trapped, leading to tooth decay. You should see your dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will likely replace the old filling with a new one. If the damage is too severe, the dentist may need to replace the entire tooth.
4. Bad Breath and Bad Tastes
If your filling fails, you may develop a bad case of bad breath. You may also have bad taste in your mouth. This smell or taste doesn’t disappear even after cleaning your teeth. If this taste or smell is down to a problem filling, it’s a sign that you have some decay issues behind the scenes.
5. Color Changes
If you have a cavity, your dentist will likely fill it with a composite resin material. Composite resin is a tooth-colored material used to fill cavities and repair teeth. It is made of plastic and glass particles. The plastic gives the material its color, and the glass helps to make it strong. Composite resin is also tooth-friendly. That is, it does not contain any metals. So, if you have a metal filling and then get a cavity, your dentist may replace the metal filling with a composite resin filling.
6. Floss Shredding
If you have a filling on the side of a tooth, it is harder to see any problems with it. However, if you floss between the two teeth and the floss is shredded, the filling may be damaged. If the filling has chipped or broken off, its edges will be rough and catch on the floss, breaking its strands.
If you are experiencing any of the six telltale signs of a filling needing replacement, do not hesitate to visit your dentist. A filling is an important part of your tooth and needs to be in good condition to protect your tooth from further damage. Replacing a filling is a relatively quick and easy process, and your dentist can help you choose the best type of filling for your needs.
Galleria Dental of Alexandria is a full-service dental office serving Alexandria, VA, treating patients of all ages. We are committed to delivering the highest quality dental care using advanced dental equipment. We provide cosmetic dentistry like checkups, teeth cleaning, crowns, veneers, and emergency dental care services like bonding, root canals, crowns, and bridges. If you’re looking for a dentist in Alexandria, VA, look no further! Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help!