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Why You Should Replace Your Old Fillings

Do you have any fillings?

If you have the silver amalgam variation, your dentist has probably been checking them and “watching” them for a long time now. You’ve probably heard that they should eventually be replaced, but they don’t hurt and there’s no sensitivity when you eat your favourite hot or cold foods.

If they feel fine, then they probably are fine, right? So why should you get them replaced?

Fillings don’t prevent bacteria from getting stuck

If you look at your teeth right now, do they look healthy? If they’re free from cavities and they appear to be clean, you probably think that you don’t need any additional treatment. If you go to the dentist for your routine appointment and they don’t see any cavities, you might think you’re in the clear.

Think again.

Unless the cavity is huge, the filling itself often blocks out the view of it. If an old filling has been compromised, the tooth surrounding the filling will be discoloured (grey, brown, or black), which your dentist will see by using tools like digital photographs. This means that mould has made its way between the filling and the tooth and has caused a cavity.

How does this happen?

Over the years, the silver fillings in your teeth expand and contract with heat and cold, and eventually no longer fit snugly with the tooth. This leaves tiny gaps for food and bacteria to get stuck. Sometimes these gaps are even smaller than the pick your dentist uses to check for cavities, but not too small for mould to grow.

What happens if I don’t replace my fillings?

When and if you decide to have your filling replaced after finding a cavity, your dentist will most likely find mould, cavities, bleeding gums, and in some cases, a cracked tooth. All of this damage comes with little to no pain but the treatment needed can cost you a lot more time and money. Even then, the treatment may not even be an option because the tooth may be too far gone to save.

When your dentist sees a crack in your tooth, they have to protect it from splitting in half between the roots and under the bone by putting a ceramic crown on it for protection, but this treatment will not necessarily be effective 100% of the time. Sometimes the crack goes further between the roots than they originally thought. However, if the tooth can be treated before it starts to hurt, the crown is the best treatment to add strength to the tooth.

If you’re looking to get your fillings replaced, your dentist has the ability to use new materials that are designed to give strength and beauty to your smile.

Dr. Andrea Stevens and her team are here to give you the smile that you deserve.

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