What Can Be Done About Old or Discolored Fillings?

How Long Should My Filling Be Last?

Do you have old or discolored fillings? Though dental fillings are an essential tool dentists use to help with tooth restoration, they do eventually start to fade. The usual length of time fillings last varies around the 10-year mark. 

This heavily depends on two main factors: The material used in the filling and your oral health habits. The primary types of fillings our office uses are composite, ceramic, and amalgam. Ceramic and amalgam fillings usually last a little longer than 10 years and composite on average start depreciating in a little under 10 years. As for your oral health habits, this includes the foods you eat, brushing habits, and regular flossing. If you follow the common rules of brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and avoiding damaging food/drinks this should be no problem. 

Besides noticing a discoloration yourself, be sure to consistently go to the dentist (twice a year). Your dentist may be aware of your fillings weakening and/or discoloration before you do. There is also the possibility that the filling becomes worn down or cracked. We want you to be able to fix a problem as soon as it starts so it doesn’t lead to greater problems later on. 

What The Options To Replace My Dental Fillings? 

As the coloring on fillings begin to fade, or it cracks or falls out, you may start to become anxious about your mouth and decide you want to replace your previous restorations. Your dentist may even recommend a filling replacement for your old or discolored fillings. 

Here are some possible options:

  • Getting a replacement filling 
  • Crown or Veneers – If the area where the filling used to reside is broken down enough, it may be recommended that you cover the decayed area of your tooth with a dental crown or receive veneers if multiple teeth are affected. 
  • Root Canal TherapyIn situations where a tooth cannot be saved by a simple filling or crown, root canal therapy may be required. This procedure is not as scary as commonly believed. It involves replacing the inside tooth root with a rubber-material filler. 

In a majority of cases, the solution will just be to replace the discolored filling with a new one. Keep up with your regularly scheduled dental visits and you should have no problem staying up to date on your fillings. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us at Verber Family Dentistry. 

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