Do You Need a Tooth Filling Replacement?
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 6/20/2022
Whether it be due to injury or wear and tear, your tooth fillings may need to be replaced over time.
Read on as we answer some common questions about tooth filling replacements and give you helpful tips to properly take care of your fillings.
What Is a Tooth Filling?
Tooth fillings are common procedures used to treat cavities or holes in your teeth caused by wear and tear, damage, or decay. These can prevent further decay and also strengthen your teeth. Tooth fillings typically take around an hour and are usually performed with gold or metals, porcelain, or plastic.
When Does a Tooth Filling Need To Be Replaced?
Tooth fillings are highly durable and made to withstand the wear and tear of eating that happens in everyday life. They are designed to last for many years, however, over time they may crack, loosen, chip, break, or fall out. Your fillings can get damaged for many reasons – most commonly through regular use or injury.
If your filling gets damaged and you delay or forgo fixing it, you may eventually experience tooth pain, infection, and decay, which can lead to tooth loss or the need for a root canal.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, pressure in your tooth while chewing, sensitivity to hot or cold foods, or notice your fillings are cracked, chipped, broken, or discolored, these are good indicators that you’re due for a replacement.
What Happens During a Tooth Filling Replacement?
The key to avoiding further tooth damage is taking action as soon as you notice the above symptoms. You definitely don’t want to delay your tooth filling replacement – this can lead to more issues, pain, damage, and decay down the road.
It’s important to consult with a dentist so you can get a proper assessment and treatment plan. Once your dentist has determined that you do, in fact, need a tooth filling replacement, they will set an appointment to get it taken care of.
At your filling replacement appointment, you can expect a process similar to a regular tooth filling procedure; the main difference is that your dentist may need to remove the old filling in order to replace it. Once your dentist has numbed the tooth and surrounding area, they will remove the old filling and re-fill the hole with your material of choice.
After the filling replacement is complete, your dentist will harden and polish it to make sure it stays in place for the years to come. Don’t chew food in the area of the filled tooth for about 24 hours to ensure it hardens completely.
How To Take Care of Your Tooth Fillings
Caring properly for your teeth is a great way to prolong your filling’s lifespan while also keeping good oral health. One of the best things you can do is stay on top of your dental hygiene routine. Brush twice per day for two minutes minimum each time, floss at least once, and use mouthwash afterward to thoroughly clean your teeth. Not only will this keep gingivitis and halitosis at bay, but it will also protect your tooth’s natural enamel and fillings.
Along with keeping good dental hygiene, you also want to limit the amount of hard, sticky, and chewy foods you consume – things like ice, hard candies, caramel, taffy, and other similar foods can crack or dislodge your fillings. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, too, as these can cause more cavities down the road.
Lastly, be sure to stay on top of your annual or biannual dental exams and cleanings. During these appointments, your dentist will keep an eye out for any warning signs that your fillings are in need of replacing.
Tooth Fillings at Kimball & Beecher
Tooth pain and sensitivity caused by needing a tooth filling replacement can significantly impact your quality of life – and if you’re not experiencing this, acting quickly can help you avoid it altogether.
At Kimball & Beecher, our team of carefully trained, compassionate dentists will work with you to restore your teeth with our tooth filling replacements.
If you think you need a tooth filling replacement or are simply in need of a reliable dentist that puts your dental health first, schedule an appointment today.