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Fillings are very helpful for restoring teeth that have fallen victim to decay. They give you back a surface to chew food with and protect the remainder of the tooth they filled out. However, fillings do have an end to their lifespan.

They can still last you a long time with proper care, which can be about 5 to 20 years depending on the type of filling. Normal routines like eating and drinking can wear them down. Clenching and grinding your teeth can also wear them out. Sadly, sometimes tooth decay jumps into the fight and wears down the tooth some more, which weakens the filling and the tooth worst of all.

There is a simple way to know if a filling needs to be replaced or if decay needs to be dealt with, and that is visiting the dentist. The dentist can help you identify if a filling is nearing its end and if decay is present. This can be done by attending regular checkups.

The dentist can use an instrument, which is known as an explorer. The explorer is a gentle tool, so you should feel no discomfort as the dentist performs the examination. It helps the dentist find signs of wearing around the filling’s edges.

The dentist may also take X-rays. This is especially useful to see if decay is progressing underneath the filling.

If a problem is detected, the filling can be easily replaced. The dentist can help you find a suitable replacement. If any decay is present, the dentist can help you take care of it before it goes much further.

If you need to replace a filling, or would like to consider a filling, come visit our dentist, Dr. Stacey DeFranco. Our office, Helena Family Dentistry in Helena, Alabama, is always open to you. Just call 205-621-3100 to let us know you are coming.