Filling Replacements: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

You may have heard about people getting their dental fillings replaced, and might be wondering if it’s something you should consider for yourself. There are a number of reasons for replacing fillings, ranging from losing it to experiencing pain to disliking its appearance. How do you know whether or not you should replace yours?

The first thing to know about dental fillings is that there are several choices for materials. Many are made from amalgam, which is a combination of metals like copper, silver, tin, and mercury. Although there is some controversy about the safety of mercury in your mouth, most experts say that it is safe. The main complaint about amalgam is its noticeable silver color. Another option is gold fillings, which can last a long time but are often the most expensive type. The most common type of filling is made from composite, a material composed of micro particles that are bonded to your teeth. They are tooth-colored and are similar in durability to amalgam fillings.

The most popular reasons that people get their fillings replace include:

  • Decay – after a number of years of wear and tear, fillings begin to decay. When they begin breaking down, bacteria may enter your tooth and lead to infection. Your dentist will be able to warn you when a filling is deteriorating.
  • Looseness – fillings can become loose if the cavity wasn’t administered correctly or if you bite on something that damages it. The age of the filling can also cause it to loosen. A checkup can help identify if the seal of your filling has broken.
  • Pain – if you experience pain in your tooth that continues, your filling may need to be repaired by your dentist or replaced completely.
  • Appearance – it is not uncommon for patients to replace fillings simply because they dislike the way it looks. Old fillings can become discolored, or you might not like the material that was used.

If you are thinking about having a filling replaced, see your dentist to ask about your options. It is often not a big deal and you’ll end up much happier with a filling that fits well and looks attractive.

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