4 Signs It's Time to Have an Old Filling Replaced

4 Signs It's Time to Have an Old Filling Replaced

Fillings give you a way to stop decay in its tracks while maintaining the strength of your tooth. However, they aren’t always permanent. While some fillings last a person’s lifetime — especially when helped by good oral hygiene habits — it’s not uncommon to need yours replaced at some point. Most fillings last about 10 years

If you think your filling might need some care, visit us at Sokoly Dental in Washington, D.C. Thomas D. Sokoly, DDS, and our team can determine if you need a new filling. And if you do, we ensure it blends seamlessly with your smile thanks to our tooth-colored fillings.

Here are a handful of reasons you should come in to see us to get your filling checked:

1. You have tooth sensitivity

If a filling gets loose, bacteria can get under it and into the sensitive pulp inside your tooth. Sometimes, you can experience tooth pain similar to the discomfort that alerted you to having a cavity in the first place. 

This pain might be worse when you eat. Hot or cold foods and drinks might make it particularly uncomfortable. 

2. It looks or feels different

Run your tongue over your tooth that has a filling, and look at it in a mirror. Has the shape changed? What about the color around the filling?

If you notice any rough areas or dark spots that weren’t there before, it could be a sign that the filling is chipped or cracked. That means it’s time to get a new one so that harmful bacteria can’t get in through the new opening.

3. Some falls out

All or part of your filling can detach from your tooth. If you’re eating and suddenly bite on an unexpected, hard particle, you might have lost a chunk of your filling. Check the area with your tongue and in the mirror. If you’re not sure if you’re having a filling issue, book an appointment at our dental practice so we can take a look.

4. Your dentist tells you it’s time

At your routine dental exams, Dr. Sokoly checks any fillings you have. He can identify the signs that determine you need a new one. 

If he tells you it’s time to have a filling replaced, acting now prevents you from having tooth pain and other issues if bacteria get under your compromised old filling. 

Reasons not to have a filling replaced

The list above gives you a good reason to explore why you may want to get a new filling. But there are times when it’s better to let your current filling stay put — specifically if you’re thinking of making the change for cosmetic reasons. The American Dental Association warns that swapping out a silver filling because you don’t like the look of it can weaken your tooth.


Ultimately, talking with dental expert Dr. Sokoly can help you decide if and when it’s time to have an old filling replaced. If you think you might need this kind of dental care, call our Washington, D.C., office or book your appointment online today.

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