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Wondering how long your fillings will last? If it has been a while, or if your filling has been compromised, it might be time to have fillings replaced. Speak with your dental provider to prevent some nasty health consequences over time from bad fillings. Here is what you need to know: 

Know What to Watch For 

There are some signs to watch for that may indicate that it is time to replace your filling. Has your filling become loose? Is it broken?  

Some common reasons why you would replace your dental fillings include these: 

  • The filling is broken or cracked.
  • Margins around the filling are not sealed properly.
  • You have developed tooth decay underneath your filling.
  • Filling is damaged due to hard, crunchy, or brittle foods.
  • You grind your teeth.
  • You experience trauma or injury to your teeth or mouth.

Additionally, over time, tartar and plaque can cause damage to your fillings, which is why vigilant oral care and regular dental visits are so important.  

The Type of Filling Matters 

There are basically three types of dental fillings: tooth-colored resin, silver or amalgam, and gold. Gold fillings last the longest, often up to 30 years, but are the most expensive. Resin fillings are the most inexpensive and least noticeable to the eye, but they require replacement every ten years. Silver fillings are perhaps the most popular as they are durable and last around 15 years or more.  

Holistic Wellbeing Contributes to Dental Health  

Health problems can impact your dental fillings, too. Infections for example may cause teeth to become loose, which in turn, will loosen up and compromise fillings. If you suffer from chronic illnesses or conditions, make sure to see your dental provider regularly, twice per year ideally. Report medical issues and symptoms to them to prevent further problems and to ensure continuity of care.  

Time to See Your Dentist?  

So, when is it time to see your dentist regarding replacing your dental fillings? Experts recommend seeing a dental provider twice per year, and at the very least, once annually. This should include intermittent x-rays of your teeth to detect, diagnose, and treat any oral health issues. There are some signs and symptoms, however, that should send you to your dentist right away. These include:  

  • An increase in tooth sensitivity, such as to heat and cold when eating and drinking.
  • Noticeable cracks, chips, or damage to the teeth surrounding the filling.
  • Pain at or near the site of your filling.
  • Recent trauma or injury to the mouth or tooth that may impact your filling.

Furthermore, if you lose your filling or it falls out of your mouth, call your dentist for an emergency visit right away. Prompt attention can prevent further complications and discomfort.  

Wondering about having fillings replaced? Talk to your dental provider at Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, in Mt Pleasant, SC to find out more. Ignoring old fillings or overlooking damaged teeth can lead to long-term health repercussions; call or visit today to schedule your dental appointment.