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August 19, 2018

How Often Should I Replace Teeth Fillings?

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_nelson @ 3:36 pm

woman looking at phoneYour dentist is always there to answer your questions about your smile and oral health — and these days, it seems one of the most common that people have is how often to replace their fillings. The answer may surprise you. Keep reading to learn more about when it’s time to replace those teeth fillings in Wesley Chapel!

Why Should Fillings Be Replaced?

For a long time, amalgam fillings were the gold (er, silver?) standard for restoring small to medium-sized cavities. Today, though, many patients are concerned about the appearance of silver on their white tooth enamel. Or, those decades-old fillings have started to leak or malfunction, causing problems that are more significant than the original tooth decay. In either case, a patient may want to consider having the silver filling replaced with a white one made of composite resin. Some patients may also choose this option due to concern about the small but present risk of mercury exposure that is possible with silver fillings.

Benefits of Composite Resin Fillings

A composite (or white or tooth-colored) filling is made from biocompatible composite resin, which is a mixture of smooth glass and plastic particles. This material can be customized to match the shade of the surrounding tooth enamel to ensure that it looks completely natural in your smile. Tooth-colored fillings are less sensitive to heat and cold compared to silver ones and can also stay strong for decades after placement.

How to Know When It’s Time to Replace a Filling

A general rule is that you should not replace a filling that is not causing problems. Unless, of course, you are very bothered about the appearance of the silver restoration or would like to have it replaced due to health concerns. Talk to your dentist about the pros and cons of voluntary filling replacement.

However, there are sometimes when you cannot deny the need to replace a filling. Watch out for these warning signs of a malfunctioning filling that really needs to go — and schedule an appointment right away to avoid any serious repercussions.

  • A sharp pain when you bite down on food or on your other teeth
  • A sensation like a toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity around the filling

If you have a failing silver filling, your dentist can remove it and replace it with a natural-looking white one in a single appointment. Doing so can help to prevent further deterioration and save your tooth from a root canal or total extraction. Don’t hesitate to seek professional treatment for a failing filling!

Meet the Dentist

Dr. Jay A. Nelson is the dentist Wesley Chapel has trusted with its restorative dentistry needs since he began practicing in 1987. If you are curious about filling replacement or would like to schedule an appointment for excellence in general, preventive, restorative, or cosmetic dentistry, please do not hesitate to contact the office at 813-949-0424.  

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