When to Replace Old Dental Fillings

Most dental restorations and treatments won’t last your lifetime. While technology continues to improve and provide longer-lasting treatment, you’ll likely need replacements for many procedures. Dental fillings in Arlington Heights, IL, typically last around ten to twenty years before needing to be replaced. This means that if you had a cavity filling as a child, you’ll likely need a replacement in your 20s20’s or 30s30’s. Replacing old fillings is crucial to help maintain high oral health and prevent further damage. 

dental Fillings in Arlington Heights IL don't last forever and often need replacing

Signs Dental Fillings in Arlington Heights, IL, Need Replacing

During your routine dental exam, your dentist can often identify early signs that an old filling is failing. However, this doesn’t always mean you need to replace it right away. But the sooner you replace an old filling, the less likely it is to cause future complications. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it could be a sign that an old filling needs to be replaced. 


Tooth sensitivity is often one of the leading symptoms of decay and old fillings. When your enamel wears away, the sensitive dentin layer of your tooth is exposed. This layer is often more sensitive to temperature and pressure. If an old filling cracks or breaks, then your dentin layer could be exposed again. If you notice tooth sensitivity, especially in an area where you’ve had a cavity before, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist. 

Visible Damage

Although it’s not always possible, you may be able to see the visible signs of decay or old fillings. Decay often looks like discoloration and dark spots on your teeth. You may even be able to see a chip or hole in your tooth, depending on how deep the decay is. If you notice a visible change in your teeth, it may be time to get an old filling replaced. 

Difficulty Flossing

When our teeth are in good shape, brushing and flossing should be relatively easy. While crowding and gaps can make flossing difficult, old fillings can make it even more so. When an old dental filling starts to break or fall out, it can cause the surface of your tooth to become rough. When flossing, this can lead to breaking or fraying of the thread. If you find it hard to floss your teeth, it’s a good idea to contact your dentist to see if an old filling may be the problem. 

Old dental fillings are often less effective at protecting your teeth. And if you have older amalgam fillings, you may even run the risk of metals leaking out over time. At AH Smiles, we want to make sure our patients’ oral health is protected as much as possible. Call us today at (847) 230-9703 to schedule a consultation and see if your old fillings need to be replaced.