Dental fillings are designed to restore and strengthen a tooth damaged by a cavity and to seal it to prevent further decay. Although they are one of the most durable dental restoration treatments available to dentists, like most treatments they will require an upgrade after some time, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). The right time to replace an old dental filling will vary from person to person. Dr. James Bourne, a dentist in Homer, AK, recommends regular dental exams (every six months to a year, depending on your situation) to help determine when a filling needs to be replaced, and to help prevent new tooth decay from developing.
Tooth Decay and Cavity Treatment in Homer, AK
Like the surface of a tooth itself, fillings are subject to the stress of everything from the foods we eat, to the mechanical impact of chewing and grinding your teeth. Over time, new bacteria can funnel into chips and cracks between the tooth and the filling, causing new decay and damage. Replacing the filling is necessary to preserve the health of the tooth.
Dental fillings are also commonly changed to replace metallic fillings for enamel (tooth colored) restorations. There are a number of options available for materials to fill a cavity, including:
- Composite (a combination of plastic and glass, which bonds to the tooth for a subtle, natural looking result)
Some materials are more resilient and enduring than others, and how often a filling needs to be changed will depend on a number of factors. Regular dental cleanings and monitoring by a dentist is the best way to preserve dental restorations for as long as possible and to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Find a Dentist in Homer, AK
A beautiful smile always begins with healthy teeth and gums. For more information on preventing and treating tooth decay, and to find out if your dental fillings may need to be changed, contact Eagle Dental by calling (907) 235-8574 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bourne today.