Do I Need to Replace My Dental Filling?

Most of us will develop a cavity, an early form of tooth decay, at some point in our lifetimes. A dentist can easily treat a cavity by removing the decay and restoring the tooth’s structure with a dental filling.

Dentists often use composite resin to mold to the tooth and fill a hole from a cavity. But older dental fillings could be made from metal alloys. A filling can replace damaged enamel in a tooth and create a seal to prevent further harm to this vulnerable part of the tooth. But a filling will not last forever.

Over time, a filling will wear down naturally. You will then need to seek a replacement from your dentist to ensure maximum protection for the tooth. Read on to find signs of when to seek a new filling from your dentist and what to expect from this treatment.

Do I Need to Replace My Dental Filling

How Long Does a Dental Filling Last?

On average, your dental filling can remain in place in your tooth for about ten years. However, several factors may affect the longevity of your filling. For instance, metal fillings can last for about fifteen years, notably longer than composite ones.

Your oral habits can also affect the well-being of your dental filling. If you grind your teeth, then the filling might sustain damage from this excess pressure. It could then wear down or break at a faster rate.

If you suffer from other dental issues, such as enamel erosion, then your filling might require replacement sooner. For instance, a highly acidic diet may weaken the structure of your teeth. Then the filling might not fit as well as it once did, and you will need a new one.

You can help keep your filling in place by practicing good oral hygiene to maximize the strength of your teeth. Visit your dentist regularly too to maximize this preventive dental care.

How Do I Know If My Filling Requires Replacement?

Your dentist will evaluate the state of your existing dental fillings when you attend a check-up. But there are some symptoms you might notice that could indicate your filling has worn down and needs replacement. You might need a new filling if you experience:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pressure or discomfort in the tooth
  • Stains or holes in the tooth’s surface.

Oral pain of any kind is abnormal and warrants attention from a dentist. Do not ignore signs of a damaged filling, or you may face a risk of further dental problems.

How Will My Dentist Replace My Damaged Filling?

Your dentist can usually replace an old dental filling within one appointment. They will numb the affected tooth with a local anesthetic to prevent potential discomfort. Then they can easily remove the old filling.

The dentist will clean the tooth and then apply resin to the tooth’s surface, molding it to the desired shape. They cure the resin to harden it into place.

If the tooth experiences further damage, the dentist might suggest a dental crown to cover more of the surface of the tooth. Find the right treatment for your unique dental needs by calling your dentist.