A correctly done filling will last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, depending on the material used, the location, the size of the filling and your oral health. But, if you do not practice satisfactory oral hygiene or take many sugary foods and drinks, you are at risk of further tooth decay beneath/around the filling.
You need to take proper care after getting a tooth filling, especially in the first 48 hours. Avoid biting down hard on the side of the mouth with the filling. Have a soft diet and avoid hard or sticky foods. Sometimes, the tooth may be sensitive, so don’t take very hot or icy drinks.
No, not all tooth decay will need a filling. The dentist will need to consider the size and extent of the decay. We can manage early decays with fluoride treatments and sealants. Fluoride treatments can strengthen the teeth and help the tooth repair itself. Sealants can also stop tooth decay by preventing entry of any bacteria, and arrest the progression of tooth decay.
You will still be numb (from the local anaesthetic) for a few hours after treatment. With luck, a tooth filling will not hurt at all. However, sometimes you may experience tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, which is normal and should go away in a few days.
If your tooth is still hurting after more than a week, be sure to visit your dentist and get it checked out.
Tooth fillings may stain over time or show dark spots for a variety of reasons:
- The dark area could be staining from a food item, which you can remove with a soft toothbrush.
- Old amalgam restorations often oxidize over time and turn black because of the wetness in the mouth.
- The dark spot could mean there is tooth decay below the filling.
In this case, you need to visit your dentist for it to be assessed & considered whether to replace the old filling..
Old dental amalgam tooth fillings may fall apart over time and give a metallic taste in the mouth. Food particles and bacteria can get in the space between the filling and the tooth if it is beginning to break down, and cause damage to the tooth underneath.