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Dental fillings fill holes in your teeth caused by decay. Fillings can also be used to repair broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down by grinding. But how do you know if you need a filling?

Here are some symptoms that might indicate it’s time to get a filling:

  • Achy teeth: These may come as sharp pains, dull aches, or general toothaches.
  • If you have a tooth that is sensitive to hot or cold liquids and food
  • Throbbing pain in your tooth
  • Your food gets stuck on a certain tooth while eating
  • Have a fractured or chipped tooth
  • Rough on your tongue: If you run your tongue across the tooth and feel jagged edges that weren’t there before this may be a sign that the inside of the tooth is eroding
  • You can see the problem: If you look at or in your mouth and a hole is visible, this is a sure sign that something is wrong
  • Flossing fissures: When you start to see the floss becoming frayed after your gentle flossing at home this may be a sign that the tooth is becoming sharp and jagged pointing to tooth decay
  • Discoloration of filling: Do you have composite resin fillings? Over time, these tooth-colored fillings can become darker or start to look slightly yellow. Replacing the filling will restore your tooth’s appearance and give you a brighter, more beautiful smile.

Dentists use several different materials to fill your teeth, depending on the damage. The materials used include gold or silver amalgam (which consists of a mixture of silver, mercury, zinc, copper and tin). Your filling can also be made out of plastic, ceramic, composite resin and glass ionomer. Gold and silver are mostly used to fill the teeth in the back of the mouth for aesthetic reasons and because they are very durable and can handle the daily grind of chewing without breaking.

Metal fillings, like the gold and silver fillings, last the longest and typically stay in place for 10 to 15 years. Fillings made from composite resin usually last about five years, while those made from ceramic can last up to 15 years.

Should You See a Professional?

If you’re not sure if you need dental fillings, you can schedule an appointment with us to find out. Schedule an appointment today.