There’s Something You Need to Know About Dental Fillings

Tooth Filling Springfield & Longmeadow, MA Dentists have been using dental amalgam, gold, and other durable materials to repair damaged teeth for well over a century. To get a dental filling is essential to receive the most conservative type of restorative dentistry there is. It is interesting that this method of tooth repair hasn’t changed much since its inception. The most significant advancement has been the transition from dental amalgam to tooth-colored fillings made of composite resin. Overall, though, the technique for treatment and the characteristics of fillings haven’t changed much. What also hasn’t changed much is the perception that a filling is a forever thing.

Fillings have a Lifespan

Just like porcelain veneers, crowns, and bridges, there is an end-date to every filling. An exception might be fillings made of gold, a material that isn’t used nearly as much as it was in the early days of dentistry. Even when we take good care of dental restorations, there will come a time when they simply wear out. Dental exams provide us with the opportunity to observe dental fillings and other restorations for signs that they may need to be replaced. Some of the common indicators include:

  • Just because a filling is placed doesn’t mean decay can’t develop around it. When this happens, there is a good reason to replace the original filling and repair the tooth with a newer, larger restoration. For decay to develop around a tooth may indicate . . .
  • When space develops around any part of the margin of a filling, the line at which filling material meets enamel, there is a chance for decay. This is because space provides the opportunity for bacterial accumulation. Where bacteria accumulate, decay is almost guaranteed. A filling may separate or crack, and it may cause the fracture in the tooth due to expansion that occurs when filling material heats up.
  • Wear and tear. It goes without saying that we are hard on our teeth. This is true even for those who do grind or clench or chew on hard objects. Our teeth go through a lot to chew food day after day for many, many years. This means that restorations like fillings are also put through the wringer. As the thickness of a filling diminishes, we look at replacement options.

Dentistry continues to seek ways to maximize the lifespan of natural teeth as well as restorations like fillings and crowns. In our Springfield office, we maximize patient care with personal attention and a variety of treatment options. To schedule your visit with us, call (413) 781-7645.

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