Few things are worse than suddenly noticing that you have a hole in your tooth where a filling once existed. Or, you might have had the unfortunate experience of feeling sharp pain while you enjoyed a bowl of ice cream that lets you know the filling was no longer protecting the sensitive parts of your tooth. Although fillings usually last for years, there comes a point when they need to be replaced. When you show up for your appointment at the family dentist, they can provide you with these services that help restore your oral health.
Remove Leftover Filling Material
Sometimes, fillings break in a way that leaves some of the material in your tooth. While this might help protect against sensitivity, the benefits are temporary. Eventually, the remaining filling material is also likely to come loose. If this happens while you are eating, then you could accidentally bite down on it and irritate your gums or chip your other teeth. Your family dentist will make sure that all of the leftover material is removed before they repair your tooth.
Repair Underlying Decay
Fillings often come out when decay beneath the material creates a bigger hole that disrupts the margins. During your exam, your dentist will carefully check your tooth to see if new decay has formed. If so, then they'll be able to remove the decay, which improves your oral health and prepares the proper space for a new filling to bond to the remaining tooth structure. Having your dentist treat the new tooth decay also helps to prevent it from spreading, which could lead to a need for a root canal.
Assess the Need for a Crown
Occasionally, dental fillings fall out due to excessive forces that break down the bond between the materials and your tooth. This often occurs with the back molars, and it can sometimes signal that you need a stronger tooth restoration. Or, your tooth might need a bigger new filling that weakens its structure. Your dentist will also spend time assessing your bite to see if you might be at risk for future tooth or filling breakage. If you are, then they can fit you for a crown that reinforces your tooth.
Check for Nighttime Tooth Grinding
People who grind their teeth at night are also at higher risk of losing a dental filling. Your dentist can check for signs of tooth grinding on your teeth, such as premature wear on the biting surfaces. They can also check your jaw for soreness and ask about your sleeping habits to see if your habit might be damaging your fillings. If so, then the dentist can help you get a special mouthguard to wear at night that reduces the forces placed on your fillings as you sleep.
For more info, contact a family dentist near you.