How Will I Know When To Replace a Filling?

Cartoon stating that fillings have been around 13,000 years.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Cavities are quite common, and one of the main ways to treat them is with a dental filling. The decay is removed, and then a filling is used to literally “fill” that empty space and protect the tooth’s health and structure. Fillings can be made from different materials and that affects how long they last. On average though, fillings can last for about 15 years. So how will you know when it’s time to replace your filling?

The Filling Is Cracked

Let’s say you bite down on an ice cube too hard or you regularly grind your teeth at night and don’t have a nightguard. In both of these cases, it’s possible that your filling will get cracked. Sometimes you can literally see the crack, and sometimes you just start to notice extra sensitivity in that area. It’s important to replace the filling as soon as possible so that bacteria doesn’t enter through that little gap and cause tooth decay.

The Filling Has Fallen Out

If your fillings have experienced a lot of wear and tear, are old, or were poorly placed, it’s possible that the entire filling can fall out. In these cases, you may notice that your tooth surface doesn’t feel the same when you run your tongue over it because there’s a big gap where the filling used to be. You may even be able to see the space where the filling once was. You’ll want to replace that filling as soon as possible to keep that tooth protected from decay.

The Filling Is Discolored

Porcelain and composite resin fillings are designed to match your natural tooth color. Over time, it’s possible that porcelain or composite fillings may become stained or discolored. This is another sign that it may be time for a replacement. Amalgam fillings are silver in color which makes them noticeable. Some patients choose to replace them for this reason alone.

Composite Fillings in Elk Grove, CA

If you think it’s time to replace a filling, contact us at Villa Vista Dental. We provide dental fillings along with many other services to improve your oral health including same-day crowns, periodontal care, and more. We’re happy to help in any way that we can!

If your fillings need replacing, we offer composite, tooth colored fillings!