Eventually, even the most durable fillings will need to be replaced. The reasons for this are plenty. Normal wear and tear over the course of a decade or more can cause the filling to dislodge. In other cases, the filling can increase the risk of tooth cracks by retaining heat. No matter what the reason, you’ll know when you need to have your filling replaced because the pain will be similar to that of an untreated cavity. The American Dental Association recommends that patients see their dentist immediately if a filling needs to be replaced.
When Do Fillings Need to be Replaced?
A filling needs to be replaced the moment you notice it has fallen out. In some cases, the filling chips or cracks allow small fissures to accumulate where the filling was. The same bacteria in your mouth that causes gum disease can make its way into the crack causing infection and severe tooth decay. It usually doesn’t go that far, however, because when the nerve of your tooth is exposed, it tends to hurt. Most people will ignore mild or sporadic pain, but you shouldn’t. A tooth infection could cost you your tooth. In most cases, your dentist may be able to save the tooth by performing a root canal. That won’t always be an option, however.
Pain is Very Important Information
While most people seek to avoid pain, pain provides us with the most important information we can have. It’s important to listen to the signals of your body and make decisions based on those signals. So what are those signals and what do they mean?
- Dull persistent ache – Dull, persistent aches can be caused by tooth grinding, but can also mean that you have an abscessed (infected) tooth. Your dentist will inspect your mouth and make recommendations on repairing the tooth if that’s the case.
- Sensitivity to hot and cold – Sensitivity to hot and cold is a major diagnostic tool for dentists. While it could indicate worn-down tooth enamel, it can also indicate a cavity or filling that has partly or wholly fallen out. Generally speaking, the longer the pain lasts after being triggered, the more serious the issue is. However, untreated dental pain will usually result in a serious issue.
- Sharp pain – There are very few circumstances in which a sharp, stabbing pain will not require a trip to the dentist. It is almost certainly caused by the loss of a filling or an untreated cavity.
- Severe throbbing pain – Again, the rule of thumb is: The more serious your pain, the more urgent it is to see a dentist. Severe throbbing pain indicates an abscessed tooth that may require emergency treatment.
Talk to a Dentist in Sedona Today
If you’re experiencing dental pain, call Peak Family Dental Care today to schedule an appointment in Sedona. We will determine the cause of your pain and treat it immediately. In most cases, patients report their pain is much better after treatment. Call today to learn more!