This may come as a surprise, but metal dental fillings are not designed to last for a lifetime. The amalgam used for these types of fillings is sensitive to temperature changes in the mouth, allowing it to expand and contract with heat and cold. This can result in one of two eventualities: the filling comes loose and falls out or the filling expands to such an extent that it cracks or breaks surrounding enamel.
You can help prevent a silver filling from damaging your teeth by knowing when it needs to be replaced. Every 10 to 15 years is a safe bet. However, assuming you’re not keeping track of the years by way of dental fillings, here are five additional ways to tell if it’s time to talk to Dr. Wilcox about replacing one:
- Increased tooth sensitivity in a tooth with a filling
- Sharp or throbbing pain in or around a tooth with a filling
- Dark holes or spots on or around a filling
- Enamel around a filling feels rough or sharp, even after brushing teeth
- Cracks have begun to form on the surface of a tooth with a filling
Tooth pain should never be ignored. If you are experiencing tooth pain, it is important that you contact us right away for an examination. When caught early on, most oral health issues can be treated quickly.
We offer safe, nontoxic, aesthetically pleasing tooth-colored fillings at our Glendale office. Bonded to teeth, these fillings do not come loose or fall out and, while not permanent, porcelain fillings may last for up to 30 years - that’s two to three-times the life-expectancy of metal fillings. This alone has prompted some of our patients to replace older silver fillings even before they fail.
If you believe you have a filling that needs to be replaced or if you are interested in learning more about replacing metal fillings with a tooth-colored alternative, please call 602-978-1790 to schedule an appointment at Desert Smiles today. Located in Glendale, we welcome patients from Mesa, Chandler, Peoria, and all surrounding areas.