When should a tooth filling be replaced?

When is it necessary to replace fillings?

amalgam filling removal

It is necessary to replace a tooth filling when:

  1.  if the filling is leaking
  2.  if the tooth has suffered a new infection with new decay around the filling
  3. the tooth structure around the filling is cracked
  4. the filling is cracked
  5. the patient is having a reaction to the material.

A Filling may leak or come loose for many reasons, but over time fillings separate from the tooth and come loose naturally.  When fillings become loose, bacteria leaks under the filling and the tooth will decay under the existing filling.  Decay or dental cavities under fillings can become big problems because cavities under fillings can escape detection by even the best dentist and persist causing a lot more damage to the tooth and the need for tooth procedures such a root canals, crowns and extractions.

Teeth with dental fillings can get new cavities next to an existing filling.  In fact if is more likely to get a cavity around a filling than in an area where there is no filling.  Ultimately dietary sugars and normal wear and tear cause dental cavities to occur.

Many people clench and grind their teeth.  Clenching and grinding is cause by a misalignment between the way teeth fit top to bottom and the way the jaw should close.  This condition is called TMD or TMJ or temporal mandibular joint disorder.  People who clench their teeth get more cracks and teeth with fillings more easily crack than ones without fillings.  Clenching also can cause cracks in dental filling and fillings to come loose from teeth.

Some people are allergic or hypersensitive to dental materials.  For this reason a new material may need to be selected and the filling removed.

Replacing fillings in a timely fashion is a matter of preventative care. It is better to replace a filling early to prevent further decay to the tooth and prevent more complex procedures such as root canals, extractions and dental implants.

It is necessary to take extra care when taking out toxic materials such as Amalgam. We have a Safe Amalgam Removal protocol in our holistic dental offices in Rockville Maryland.


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