When Should You Replace a Filling?
It’s common nowadays for an individual to have a filling. However, it may not be common knowledge that sometimes you need to replace a filling…
Tooth decay affects around 31% of adults. So, it’s not surprising that fillings are as common as they are. But, before we get to why you would need to replace a filling, it’s better to start with why you would need one in the first place.
Over four-fifths of the population has at least one filling and, on average, each adult has seven fillings. Clearly, the demand for them is high; this has a lot to do with the world’s excessive consumption of sugar. Although, tooth decay can happen to anyone with a poor dental hygiene routine, but consuming too much sugar encourages it. The rotting away of a tooth would prompt the dentist to recover what they could, then fill the damaged area with either silver amalgam or white composite. Fillings may also be required in broken or cracked teeth.
The average lifespan of an amalgam filling is around 12 years. So, it’s likely that, if you have one, that you’ll need to replace a filling in your lifetime. Your dentist will always know if you need a replacement, they check for issues like this during check ups. However, it may become a requirement between your check ups and there are signs that you should be aware of.
The main issue would be pain.
You may need to replace a filling if you notice pain or sensitivity in the area of your filling. Deterioration of your filling could allow food to get in-between your tooth and the filling, causing further decay. In turn, further decay would mean that your tooth might not be able to support the filling. Sensitivity is also an indicator. This could mean that the dentine of the tooth is exposed again due to a filling that is wearing away. You may notice this when you are eating hot or cold foods, acidic food or drinks or in cold temperatures.
There are some activities that will cause your filling to deteriorate. These include, chewing, clenching and grinding. Eating sticky and chewy foods like toffee could also have a past to play in loosing a filling. It’s not always noticeable when the filling is deteriorating. Most of the time, a dentist will see the structural integrity of the filling is wearing down and in result; they will need to replace a filling.
Therefore, as we always say, it’s important for you to maintain your dental health through regular dental visits. A deteriorating filling can easily go undetected, should you not be experiencing any noticeable signs of pain or sensitivity. However, your dentist probably wont miss it.
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