Does an amalgam filling or tooth-colored filling last indefinitely? You must know from experience that these dental restorations have a certain lifespan--typically seven to ten years, says the American Dental Association. That's why you need to see your dentists in Cheshire, CT, Dr. Larry Erwich and Dr. Elana Celliers, regularly to have your existing fillings inspected and replaced as needed. That way, your smile stays as healthy and attractive as possible.
Signs a filling needs replacing
Your dentist in Cheshire wants you aware of what's going on in your mouth. So besides flossing daily, brushing twice a day and eating a tooth-friendly diet, you should actually look at your teeth and note any changes in how they feel or function.
In other words, you can partner with Dr. Erwich and Dr. Celliers in optimizing your oral health. Here are signs which may indicate a dental filling requires replacement:
- You sustain a blow to the mouth. Besides tooth avulsion, tooth fracture results from oral trauma. Restorations such as porcelain crowns and dental fillings may be chipped, cracked, loosened or completely dislodged. So if you get hurt, see your dentist as soon as possible.
- Your tooth is highly sensitive to heat, cold or sugary foods. Although you may not see it, a crack in or around a filling may be developing, allowing bacteria to invade the space and exposing sensitive inner pulp.
- You have a throbbing toothache. Why would a filled tooth hurt? Possibly, the filling has deteriorated and a deep cavity has developed. Left untreated, it could become infected and need root canal therapy or even extraction.
- You have a very large, old filling. Your tooth is at risk for fracture and for decay occurring at the juncture between tooth enamel and the existing restoration. Your dentist may wish to replace it with composite resin or a full or partial crown to avoid further damage.
- Bruxism is a continual problem. You habitually grind and clench your teeth, putting pressure on your fillings. Your dentist will determine if a mouth guard would alleviate the stresses and if any fillings were compromised.
- You have metal fillings that show when you smile. Your dentist may replace them with composite resin.
Of course, the way to avoid replacing Cheshire fillings is not to have them in the first place. Dr. Erwich and Dr. Celliers are big proponents of preventive dentistry. That means they'd rather see you twice a year for prophylactic services such as:
- Oral examinations and digital X-rays as needed
- Hygienic cleanings to remove harmful plaque
- Fluoride treatments to strengthen enamel
- Plastic sealants on deeply ridged back teeth
Also, the team encourages diligent oral hygiene at home, smoking cessation, mouth guards for sports and a low-sugar/carbohydrate diet.
Come see us
If you question the integrity of any of your restorations, contact Dr. Erwich or Dr. Celliers for an appointment in Cheshire, CT. Call (203) 272-7044.