Dental fillings are used to fill the cavities that were formed by tooth decay. They can also be used to repair teeth that have cracked or broken. Dental fillings are used to restore the structure or shape of the teeth as well as their function.
Dental fillings do not last forever and there will come a point when they would need to be replaced. One of the most common reasons why fillings need to be replaced is regular wear and tear. As time passes, fillings get worn out, cracked, chipped or sometimes fall out because our teeth are always under pressure from all the eating, grinding and clenching that our mouths do. When these happen, fillings need to be replaced. Otherwise, it can cause further damage. Food and bacteria may accumulate or get trapped in the gaps, cracks or chipped portions of the filling. This will then lead to tooth decay that may develop underneath or at the edges of the filling.
There are other instances when fillings may need to get replaced. They fallout or get chipped or cracked for a variety of reasons. For example, nail biting and accidentally biting on a hard object may cause the filling to become loose or get cracked. Poor personal hygiene may also cause decay to develop on or around the filling. In cases where the tooth itself was damaged due to a crack or chip, the filling will also need to be replaced because the tooth’s structure may not support it well due to the damage.
There are also other factors that affect the strength and durability of the fillings. The type of material used for the filling is a one major factor. Some materials last longer than the others. Gold and silver fillings are considered to be the most durable because they are resistant to wear and tear. Sometimes, the procedure or manner of how the filling was made or placed can also impact its durability. There may have been a mistake in the procedure. For example, the cavity might have been prepared incorrectly or was contaminated before it was sealed or filled or sometimes the wrong type of fillings might have been used.
Another reason to get replacement fillings is aesthetics. Some people may want to switch from amalgams or metal fillings to tooth-colored composite ones so that they are not that obvious. Others opt to replace their fillings because they are not the same color as the rest of the tooth while some feel uncomfortable because their fillings were not fitted or shaped well.
Check with our dentists regularly if you need or want replacement fillings. As part of your regular dental checkup, they can examine whether or not your fillings need to be replaced. Some damages to the fillings may not be obvious to the untrained eye. Our dentists can see if the fillings are worn or damaged. They also have instruments to determine if the fillings still fit well or if decay is already present underneath the fillings. Fillings should be replaced as soon as possible in order to avoid the need for more complicated and costlier procedures like root canal treatment or at worse, a tooth extraction.