Top 6 Warning Signs It’s Time to Replace a Dental Filling

After removing a badly damaged tooth or providing root canal therapy, a dental professional may place a filling in the gaps or holes to restore the tooth’s functionality and stability. Dental fillings, which are made of resin, porcelain, or other metals are meant to be durable but sadly aren’t indestructible. Therefore, it is vital to know what signs indicate that it’s time for a new or replace a dental filling. This informative blog post brings you a list of the top six warning signs you need to look out for that tell you it’s time to replace a dental filling.

Warning Signs When you Replace a Dental Filling

Tooth decay is one of the common dental health problems worldwide. It is estimated that one in three Australian adults aged fifteen years or more has untreated tooth decay, making dental filling procedure one of the most common dental procedures. Generally, a dental filling will last anywhere from seven to 20 years, with proper dental care but at some point, or another, it needs to be replaced due to a long list of reasons. Here are the top 6 warning signs a dental filling might need to be replaced.

1. Tooth Pain

There are multiple reasons that you could be suffering from toothache and one of these reasons is due to a dental filling that has worn down or is loose and is no longer protecting the inside of your tooth as it should. The tooth may throb or ache all the time in the area the filling is. If left untreated, it can become infected and you might need a more intensive dental treatment than a dental filling, such as a root canal treatment.

2. Cracks

As already mentioned above, no matter how durable and strong a dental filling is, it can become damaged over the years. Wear and tear from eating crunchy foods, jaw clenching and teeth grinding can cause a dental filling to crack. Book an appointment with your dental professional right away if you notice a crack in your dental filling. Even the tiniest crack around a filling can make pathways for dangerous bacteria to enter the tooth and cause further damage.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity to cold or hot beverages or foods is another warning sign that it’s time to replace your dental filling. A damaged or loose filling fails to properly cover both sides of your teeth. As a result, there will be an opening or a gap that lets the beverage or food with extreme temperatures enter a damaged tooth, creating increased sensitivity and discomfort. Paying attention to these symptoms can ensure you get prompt treatment and may reduce the risk of infection in your tooth cavity. 

3. Cracks

As already mentioned above, no matter how durable and strong a dental filling is, it can become damaged over the years. Wear and tear from eating crunchy foods, jaw clenching and teeth grinding can cause a dental filling to crack. Book an appointment with your dental professional right away if you notice a crack in your dental filling. Even the tiniest crack around a filling can make pathways for dangerous bacteria to enter the tooth and cause further damage. 

4. Discolouration

A discoloured or stained dental filling can also be an indication that it needs replacement. Over time, a tooth-coloured dental filling can become discoloured or start to appear yellowish. Replacing it will restore the appearance of your tooth. So, if you notice that your filling has changed its colour, visit your dentist as soon as possible so they can check if you need a replacement.

5. Injury

A sudden blow to your mouth or an accident involving your face can do more than break or knock out your tooth. It can cause damage or loosen dental restorations like dental fillings. If you have undergone a recent facial trauma or accident, schedule an appointment with your dental professional as soon as possible.

6. Age

As mentioned earlier, dental fillings can last for many years but all dental fillings get old and eventually need to be replaced. Over time, constant pressure from biting and chewing can cause dental fillings to crack or chip, letting harmful bacteria enter the tooth and cause damage. Sometimes older, larger dental fillings can cause tiny cracks in the healthy tooth structure if left unattended. Regular dental examinations or dental x-rays keep you ahead of potential complications.  If it has been a long since you had your dental filling, it might be time to ask your dental professional if a dental filling need a replacement. 

The Final Word

If you notice any of the aforementioned warning signs and certainly if you notice all six signs or if you think that your filling is going bad, book an appointment with your dental professional to ask about replacing your dental fillings.