Your dental fillings play an important role in your oral health, so it’s important to know when they need to be replaced. There are a few signs that you can look for to know if your dental fillings need to be replaced. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist to get them replaced.
Signs That Your Dental Fillings Need To Be Replaced
If you have had dental fillings in the past, it is important to know the signs that indicate they may need to be replaced. Here are the signs that your dental fillings need to be replaced:
You Have Visible Damage to Your Fillings
If you can see visible damage to your dental fillings, such as cracks, chips, or wear and tear, then it is likely that they need to be replaced. Visible damage to your fillings can occur over time due to the natural wear and tear of daily life, or it can happen suddenly due to an accident or injury.
Your Fillings Feel Loose
If your fillings feel loose, it is a sign that they are no longer securely in place. This can happen over time as the fillings slowly become loose, or it can happen suddenly if you have an accident or injury that causes the fillings to become dislodged.
Your Fillings Have Fallen Out
If your fillings have fallen out, it is an obvious sign that they need to be replaced. This can happen due to the natural wear and tear of daily life, or it can happen suddenly due to an accident or injury.
You Have Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Temperatures
If you have developed sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, it could be a sign that your dental fillings are no longer providing adequate protection for your teeth. This sensitivity can occur gradually or suddenly, and it can be a sign that the fillings need to be replaced.
How Often Do Dental Fillings Need To Be Replaced?
Dental fillings are one of the most common dental procedures. They are also one of the most necessary, as they help to protect your teeth from further decay. But how often do dental fillings need to be replaced?
It is generally recommended that dental fillings be replaced every 3 to 5 years. However, this is only a general guideline, and your dentist will be able to give you a more specific time frame based on the type of filling you have, the location of the filling, and your own personal oral health.
There are three main types of dental fillings: amalgam, composite, and glass ionomer. Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, tin, and mercury. Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and fine glass particles. Glass ionomer fillings are made of a type of glass that is bonded with an ionomer resin.
The type of dental filling you have will affect how often it needs to be replaced. Amalgam fillings tend to last the longest, while glass ionomer fillings tend to need to be replaced more often. This is because dental amalgam fillings are more resistant to wear and tear, while glass ionomer fillings are more prone to breaking down over time.
The location of your filling will also affect how often it needs to be replaced. Fillings that are in high-stress areas, such as the chewing surfaces of your back teeth, will tend to need to be replaced more often than fillings that are in low-stress areas, such as your front teeth.
Finally, your own personal oral health will affect how often your dental fillings need to be replaced. If you have good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly, your fillings will likely last longer than if you have poor oral hygiene or only see your dentist when you have a problem.
What are the Risks of Not Replacing Dental Fillings?
When it comes to dental fillings, there are two types: amalgam (silver) and composite (tooth-coloured). Amalgam is the most common type of filling, but composite fillings are becoming more popular because they are less visible.
If you have a dental filling, it’s important to have it replaced if it becomes loose, cracked, or otherwise damaged. If you don’t replace a dental filling, you run the risk of the following problems:
- Tooth Decay – If your dental filling falls out or is otherwise damaged, it’s no longer protecting the tooth against decay. This means that decay-causing bacteria can enter the tooth and start to break it down. If the decay is left untreated, it can eventually lead to a cavity.
- Sensitivity – If your dental filling is damaged, it may no longer fit snugly against your tooth. This can cause sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. You may also find that your tooth is more sensitive to sweets.
- Pain – If the tooth decay associated with a loose or damaged dental filling isn’t treated, it can eventually lead to pain. The pain may be dull and constant or it may be sharp and intermittent. It can also make it difficult to chew.
- Infection – If tooth decay associated with a loose or damaged dental filling isn’t treated, it can eventually lead to an infection. The infection may cause pain, swelling, and fever. In severe cases, it can lead to abscesses.
- Gum Disease – If a dental filling falls out or is otherwise damaged, it can create a space between the tooth and the gum. This space is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums, a condition known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease.
If you have a dental filling, it’s important to have it checked regularly by a dentist. If the filling becomes loose or damaged, it should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid the above-mentioned problems.