131 Columbia Turnpike, Suite 2A, Florham Park, NJ 07932
(973) 377-5117

When to Replace a Filling?

July 28, 2017

woman with toothache needs a new dental fillingWhile the Florham Park dental office of John A. Carollo, DMD offers high quality restorations, nothing lasts forever – and that, unfortunately, includes dental fillings. Daily wear and tear take their toll on your fillings, but we can repair and replace these restorations. Every person and every restoration are different, but a properly placed filling crafted from high quality materials can last for decades. We will check your fillings for signs of potential damage at each of your six month checkups. Keeping these regular appointments is the best way to find out if a filling needs to be replaced. You can also keep reading to find out some of the early indicators of a need for filling replacement, and don’t hesitate to contact us anytime for more information or to schedule an appointment.

What to Look For

There are three main reasons the dentist will recommend a filling be replaced: decay, cracking, and leaking. If you understand what these issues are and how to notice them, you can let the dentist know about any concerns right away. Some warning signs that indicate a need to replace fillings include:

  • Decay – if the filling begins to change color, especially near the edges where the filling and tooth meet, there may be decay. This may also cause toothaches or dental sensitivity.
  • Cracking – parts of the filling or tooth may break away completely, you might see fine lines in the filling, or feel the filling moving within your tooth.
  • Leaking – this happens when the shifting of the filling over time leads to visible spaces between the filling and tooth. This is how bacteria and plaque can access the tooth causing advanced damage.

How Filling Replacement Works

If we determine you need to have a filling removed, the restorative dentistry process is relatively simple. We numb the area to be treated and gently remove the existing filling. This is completed using a variety of tools and techniques to carefully extract the filling materials. Then, we carefully decontaminate the area making sure there isn’t any remaining decay. Next, we set a replacement filling. We recommend tooth-colored, composite resin fillings as the standard in restoration. This malleable putty-like resin is applied directly to the newly prepared tooth. Once in position, a curing light hardens the filling into position. We’ll make final adjustments and leave you with a flawless smile.

In some cases, the filling will need to be replaced with a larger restoration like a dental crown. This happens frequently with larger fillings. When they reach the point where replacement is necessary, fillings may have worn away surrounding healthy enamel leading to more severe damage. We will work with you at the time to ensure you get the right restoration option that will look and feel great and offer long-lasting restoration.

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