If you have fillings in your teeth that are really old, you may wonder if you should ever consider getting them replaced. Visiting your dentist is a great way to find this out, and your dentist is likely to only recommend replacing them when it is needed. Here are a few reasons your dentist might find that will help you know if and when you should have them replaced.
When a filling is missing or loose
A filling is there to fill in the hole where a cavity was. While the filling material is not as strong as your tooth, it is there to strengthen your tooth and protect it from other threats. If a filling gets loose or falls out, you should have it replaced. A missing filling does no good, and a loose filling will eventually fall out. This is one of the most common reasons people have old fillings replaced.
If the tooth has another cavity
A second occasion in which your dentist would recommend replacing an old filling is when the tooth develops another cavity in it. The existing filling might have served its purpose well for years, but it will not help the tooth if decay forms on a different spot. If the decay is located near or up against the filling that you have, the dentist will need to fix the cavity by putting in a filling. To do this, the dentist will most likely have to remove the old one.
If you develop a cavity on the opposite side of the same tooth, the dentist might not need to remove the old filling. In this situation, the dentist might be able to simply remove the decay and put in a second filling to take the place of the decay.
If you have an amalgam filling
Some people worry that amalgam fillings are not safe because they contain mercury; however, this is not the case. Most experts will agree that amalgam fillings are safe, but you can still have yours replaced if you desire. Some people choose to have their amalgam fillings replaced for safety reasons, but other people choose to do this for looks. If you do not like the way your metal fillings look, have your dentist remove them and fill them with tooth-colored composite fillings.
Getting fillings replaced is something that you may need at some point in your life. To learn more about this or other dental topics, visit a dental clinic.