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Missing or Damaged Filling?

Posted in COVID-19, Dental Care, and General Dentistry

Do You Have a Missing or Damaged Filling?

Dental fillings are not a permanent fix. On average a fillings lasts 10-12 years, but sometimes newer ones become damaged.  When you think about the pressures and conditions a filling is subject to, it becomes clear that they are a durable and practical way to treat tooth decay. Just like our teeth, our fillings need to be looked after. When a cavity is discovered, your dentist will clean out the decayed area and fill it with a composite resin that hardens with a special blue light called a curing light. After contouring or shaping the filling to match the bite pattern of your original unharmed tooth, it is then buffed and polished. To look after your new filling there are a few important things to remember.

You should address a damaged or lost filling quickly. If you notice a filling has become dislodged, cracked, or broken, see your dentist promptly for a repair. Even a tiny crack will expose your inner tooth to the bacteria in your mouth. If this happens, your tooth could start to decay under the filling. Worse yet, the bacteria could infect your tooth pulp and prompt a root canal or tooth extraction.

Three Things That Can Damage Fillings

To prevent filling damage, what are some things to avoid? Your teeth are the hardest part of your body, but they still can crack or chip when chewing on hard foods. And that means your fillings are susceptible to damage to. Ice, popcorn kernels, hard candy, and other real dense foods can do allot of damage, sometimes without feeling it immediately.  

Bruxism or unconsciously grinding, gnashing, or clenching your teeth, is a condition common to youth, but some adults struggle with it as well. Bruxism can do extensive damage to your teeth. You can literally grind down tooth surfaces and likewise, wear, chip, or crack existing fillings.

When your dentist installs a new filling, he or she takes extra time to make sure it fits your bite profile. This is done to avoid adding extra pressure to the filling when you bite down. If this wasn’t done properly sensitivity or pain could be the result. But there is another reason why contouring the filling is so important. A filling can only withstand so much pressure. Avoid biting down too hard, it can damage a filling. The expression “the bigger they are, the harder they will fall” applies here. Because larger fillings are generally weaker.

Symptoms of Lost or Damaged Filling

How do you know if a filling fell out or has become damaged in some way?

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain when biting down
  • Loose pieces of resin (filling material)
  • Sharp edge on the filling that wasn’t there before
  • A filling moves but still part of the tooth
  • Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Increased sensitivity to sweet foods and beverages
  • Tooth ache in area of filling

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may have a missing or damaged filling. Call Dr. Stephen Mathews at Erbsville Dental, Waterloo. During this pandemic you don’t need to suffer with dental issues. Erbsville Dental has implemented many practical safety features to protect their clients from COVID-19. “Call Today, We’re open!”

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.