I know there have been patients that when it is recommended a filling be replaced they ask themselves this question: If my tooth doesn’t hurt and my filling is still in place, why would the filling need to be replaced? There are many reasons a filling may need to be replaced and more times than not, the best time to treat the condition is before you notice symptoms. Constant pressure from chewing, grinding or clenching can cause dental fillings and restorations to wear away, chip or crack. Although you may not be able to tell that your filling is wearing down, your dentist can identify weaknesses in your restorations during a regular check-up. If the seal between the tooth enamel and the restoration breaks down, food particles and decay-causing bacteria can work their way under the restoration. You then run the risk of developing additional decay in that tooth. Decay that is left untreated can progress to infect the dental pulp and may cause an abscess. If the restoration is large or the recurrent decay is extensive, there may not be enough tooth structure remaining to support a replacement filling. In these cases, your dentist may need to replace the filling with a crown. If you have any questions regarding your fillings, or notice a persistent ache in one or more of your teeth, don’t hesitate to inform your local Boise dentists at your next meeting with Summit Dental Boise.
Source Cited: www.ada.org/public/topics/fillings_faq.asp