If you have fillings in your mouth from when you were a child, you might wonder when, or if, you should ever replace them. Replacing old fillings is not always necessary, but there are times when you should do this. Here are some of the reasons that should cause you to consider replacing the old fillings you have in your mouth.
When one comes loose or falls out
Whether a filling is old or new, it should be replaced if it comes loose or falls out. A filling cannot protect a tooth if it falls out, and it will not effectively protect your tooth if it is loose. If you have a loose or missing filling, you should have a dentist look at it right away. If you do not fix the filling fast enough, it can cause further problems with the tooth. You should also seek help from a dentist right away if you feel like even just a small portion of a filling came out of a tooth.
When the tooth has more decay on it
Another situation that should prompt you to get an old filling replaced is when the tooth with the filling has new decay on it. If you have a filling in a tooth and your dentist discovers more decay on a different portion of the tooth, the dentist is likely to recommend removing the existing filling from the tooth. After removing the old filling, the dentist could put in a new filling that covers the areas where the old filling was and where the new decay was. If a tooth has too much decay on it, your dentist might recommend the use of a dental crown instead of a large filling.
If you want tooth-colored fillings
Years ago, the only type of filling available was an amalgam filling. If you have fillings that are metal, it means that they are amalgam fillings. Some people believe that these types of fillings are unsafe to have in your mouth because they contain mercury, but they really are not hazardous to have in your mouth. They can, however, look bad, and you could consider replacing them with tooth-colored fillings if you do not like the way they look.
If you would like more information about replacing old fillings you have in your mouth, contact a dental clinic such as Pfeiffer Family Dentistry and make an appointment.