Is It Time to Replace Your Dental Fillings?

Southern Pines Dentist

Is It Time to Replace Your Dental Fillings?If you haven’t had a dental filling since you were a kid, and you are now old enough to be the President of the PTA, then it’s time to see about having those old fillings replaced. Even the best fillings don’t last forever, and that’s especially true of the silver ones. Dentists in the Southern Pines area are experts when it comes to determining when the time is right for a replacement.

Replacing old dental fillings with new ones may possibly be one of the most commonly performed dental procedures. That‘s because many of the silver (amalgam) fillings that were placed into the teeth of children and adults 20-30 years ago are now showing significant signs of deterioration. Since silver fillings are actually made from a blend of various metals, it is normal that they display the same physical characteristics of the other metals that we see in our surroundings. Metal fillings expand and contract in response to temperature changes within the mouth. This particular characteristic creates a strain on the surrounding enamel, increasing the chances of a fractured tooth or a broken filling.

Old fillings, both the silver and also the white, can eventually begin to separate from the surrounding enamel. When this happens, microscopic crevices can develop between the filling and the tooth, creating an opening for oral fluids and bacteria to seep below the surface. In time, tooth decay can develop and spread beneath the filling, leading to deep cavities and severely weakened enamel.  In fact, this type of hidden tooth decay is a common factor in the need for root canal therapy.

In a single dental appointment, the dentist can use a dental drill to remove the old filling material and refill the area with a newer, bonded composite filling. Before refilling the tooth, the dentist will check to ensure that the tooth structure is healthy and will clean away any soft or decayed areas. This procedure is typically performed with local anesthetics and can generally be completed in about an hour.

To find out if it’s time to replace any of your old dental fillings, contact a dentist in Southern Pines for an examination today.