Dental fillings do not last forever says dentists in Marietta. So, how do you know when one needs replaced? Many patients wait until a tooth hurts to seek treatment. Dentists hear, “Why should I replace it, it doesn’t hurt?” However, waiting on a filling that needs replaced is not smart. By the time a tooth hurts, more expensive treatment is usually necessary.
Old fillings overtime discolor, darken, crack, leak and can pull apart from tooth. A filling is considered leaking if does not fit tightly against the tooth. In some circumstances, the leaking causes sensitivity and it is obvious it needs replaced with a new filling. If decay has advanced deep into the center of the tooth, the nerve will die requiring costly root canal therapy. Since it is not possible to brush between a filling and the tooth, the decay process may not noticeable until it causes pain. It is important to repair the tooth before it progresses to root canal therapy.
An old filling can be detrimental to your gums. It can trap plaque along the gumline causing a periodontal gum condition. Unhealthy gum tissue allows bacteria to enter the blood stream causing an inflammatory response linked to disease. As a professional Marietta, Ga dentist, we will let you know at your cleaning appointment if it is time to replace your old fillings.
If you clench or grind your teeth, the stress may cause fillings to need replacement sooner. Clenching and grinding can crack your teeth and cause small craze lines to develop. Although, not all cracks and craze lines need repaired, this may be an indication that you need to ask your dentist if an appliance will help your fillings last longer. At your cleanings, ask your dentist if you are a candidate for special fluoride that can be applied at home. It helps strengthen teeth and possibly remineralize beginning decay.
Techniques in restoring teeth from decay have come a long way says Marietta, GA dentist. Teeth that have discolored spots are not necessarily cavity, but could be. The most common method for a dentist to determine if a tooth needs repaired is a simple examination with a dental instrument called an explorer. Decay in a tooth is softer and the explorer will stick to the tooth. Healthy dentin is much harder and the explorer will not stick. Other methods are also available to detect decay. X-rays show large decay, but are more difficult for the dentist to detect smaller areas of decay. Cavity-dye is another option. It can be placed on the tooth and does not rinse away from the decay. This allows a dentist to clearly discern a cavity. Diagnodent by Kavo is a laser that helps detect a cavity early. A wand scans your tooth, and indicates if decay exists. Your dentist also has access to a software called Logicon that compares your personal x-ray to a database of x-rays. It is sophisticated and able to accurately diagnose.
See your dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. He will let you know if an old filling needs replaced. It may save you from a more extensive problem in the future.