A filling is a common dental restoration that is used to repair chips or small cavities in the tooth. Over time, the natural wear and tear of biting, chewing and grinding food can cause the bond between the filling and the tooth enamel to degrade. While most fillings can last anywhere from 5-10 years, there is really no set lifespan since each individual is so different. Oral bacteria, hygiene practices, and regular maintenance all play a role in the longevity (or lack thereof) of a dental filling.
While some fillings will indicate they’re failing by demonstrating certain symptoms, it is not uncommon for people to be unaware that a filling is about to fail. That is why it is so important to maintain regular check-ups and cleanings at the dentist. Dr. Abbott or Dr. Tarasidis can identify a failing filling and address it before it causes pain or other issues.
Some of the most common signs that a dental filling needs to be replaced include:
- Sharp pain when biting down or chewing
- Distinct change in texture
- Graying in the tooth enamel around the filling
All of these are signs that the filling’s bonding is weakening and bacteria is starting to creep in between the filling and healthy enamel of the tooth. In cases where the filling is small enough, our dentists may be able to simply replace it with a new filling. However, if decay has started around the filing and damaged the tooth further, we may recommend replacing the entire enamel layer of the tooth with a dental crown.
If you suspect one of your dental fillings is going bad and needs to be replace, call Midlothian Dental Arts today to schedule an appointment.