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Fillings: Should I Repair or Replace Them?

replacing old fillingsHere’s the truth about fillings – and all cosmetic restorative dental materials – they don’t last forever. Like anything, these materials that are placed in our mouth wear down over time. However, they still remain a far better alternative to metal in the mouth.

The question then becomes: when a filling, crown, or other restorative material falls out. What’s the best thing to do?

First Things First: Don’t Panic

If you ever find yourself in a position where a filling has fallen out or a crown has fallen out, understand that these issues occur and may be fixed with ease.

Preservation is a must.

Your task is to make sure you retrieve as much of the crown, filling, or other restorative material as you can. The key is to preserve it properly until you reach your dentist. This can be done either by purchasing a tooth preservation kit from your local drugstore or placing the material in a small container with either your own saliva or milk to help preserve it.

Repair or Replace?

Once you arrive at your dental appointment, your dentist will analyze the situation and then be presented with their own question to answer: to replace or repair your filling?

Turns out studies have actually been performed on this matter and concluded that repaired fillings actually needed additional treatments than replacing them. Keep in mind this difference was relatively small. However, follow up treatment for repaired fillings was found to be less severe than replaced fillings.

Your dentist will determine the best approach unique to your case based on medical records, previous dental work, budget, and other needs that should be addressed. There is no direct answer as every case is different.

Make Sure You Receive the Right Materials

If you’re going to replace any restorative material, then you have an opportunity to be selective on the materials you will receive in your mouth for many years. As such, ask your dentist what materials they use both for crowns and for fillings. We encourage you to stay away from any materials that contain metal.

At BioDental Healing, we opt not to utilize any materials in the mouth that have controversy around them. This includes the use of fillings that are free from BPA, a controversial chemical found in composite white fillings, and mercury found in amalgam fillings (metal or silver fillings).

For crowns, we elect to use non-metal materials. Many crowns are made with a porcelain-fused-to-metal approach, which is still metal and we don’t believe metal belongs in the mouth.

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