A dental filling is required to restore the integrity and function of the tooth structure that is lost due to decay or damage. You may think that the job is finished once your dentist applies a filling to one of your teeth. However, the truth is that the filling will eventually need to be replaced.
Here are a few reasons why your fillings require replacement:
- Your fillings experience a lot of pressure every time you chew, clench, or grind, and as a result, they could deteriorate over time and end up requiring replacement.
- If the seal between the tooth filling and tooth breaks down, bacteria and food particles can get swept under the filling. These bacteria cannot be removed by brushing or other means. The accumulation of bacteria can cause recurrent tooth decay. If the tooth decay is diagnosed and treated early, replacing the filling is enough. Otherwise, you may require a root canal treatment and a crown.
- Dental fillings could discolor or pick up stains over time. In such circumstances, you should get your fillings replaced so that they can match with the rest of your teeth.
You may be unable to identify whether your fillings are chipped, cracked, worn away, or fallen out, but your dentist can. During the dental examination, your dentist will use an explorer to determine whether your fillings have any worn spots, cracks, or chips. They may use dental radiographs to determine the decay that is present between the teeth or under the filling.
Regular dental checkups are important to assess whether your fillings require replacement.
How Long Can a Filling Last?
The lifetime of the dental filling varies depending on the type of filling material, how well the filling is set, the healthiness of the surrounding teeth, and whether you frequently grind or clench your teeth.
Is Having Too Many Fillings Bad?
It can be difficult to determine whether having too many fillings is bad, as it depends on several factors, including the type of filling material, depth, and extension of tooth preparation, and expansion of decay or secondary decay if present.
Why Do I Keep Losing My Fillings?
- You may lose your fillings if:
- There is a cavity or decay around the filling
- The filling is not correctly set on your tooth
- Your tooth lacks structural support to the filling
- You apply pressure on the filling either from chewing, clenching or grinding
- Your tooth is not prepared for the filling or has cracks or fractures
- The cavity is not thoroughly cleaned before placing the filling
What to Avoid After Filling
After a dental filling, you should avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods and hot and cold beverages for a few weeks. The follow-up care can vary depending on the type of fillings you have. Discuss the dos and don’ts with your dentist after the filling.
Related Article: Amalgam Fillings: Side Effects on Your Health and Safe Removal
What Happens If a Filling Cracks?
If a filling cracks, the bacteria can get swept into the cracks and cause decay underneath it. This may result in a vital abscess and can end up requiring root canal treatment or tooth extraction. Get your cracked fillings fixed promptly to avoid these issues.
Call us today if you suspect that your fillings require replacement. Our dentists in West Des Moines will restore your fillings to help protect your teeth from further dental problems.